- As Buhari’s top aide gets in trouble, over attempt to usurp Osinbajo’s powers
The Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, A. G. Umar has debunked assertion that the Rivers Port Complex frightens away Customers with high tariff, stressing that the Nigerian Ports Authority operates a uniform tariff in all the nation’s ports.
The Rivers Port Manager indicated this while receiving visiting Maritime, Energy and Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MEMPON) led by its National President Amb (Dr.) Ralph John to his Basket House, Port Harcourt office on a courtesy visit.
“Rivers Port is ready and open to receive as many vessels as possible than as before”, Umar stated, indicating Management’s decision to harness the strategic location advantage of the Port’s nearness to the business hub of Aba and Onitsha.
He also noted the relevance of the two Terminal Operators; Ports and Terminal Operators (Nigeria) Limited and BUA Ports and Terminal whose efforts to market the Port is ongoing, pledging to support the gesture; even as he called on importers to utilize this advantage to bring in cargoes, stressing that the non-congestion of the terminals make it easy for vessels to be berthed when compared to other Ports.
Responding on his efforts to boost business in the Port, the Port Manager intimated the Journalists of his collaboration and partnership with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) to ensure that the Port gets boost in business.
On the issue of security, Mr. A. G. Umar revealed that the Port which was previously on security level two (2) has now slowed down to level one (1).
He commended the efforts of NIMASA in safeguarding the waterways, which he said has made the channels safe thereby increasing number of vessels weekly.
Mr. Umar who stated earlier that Nigerian Ports Authority whose duty is to generate revenue for the Federal Government as other agencies will do much more if some of its challenges are addressed.
While conducting members of MEMPON round the facilities, the Port Manager revealed that the Port needs a total rehabilitation, continuous maintenance and dredging to enable it receive more vessels as well as more tug boats and newer Pilot Cutters.
In his remarks, the President of MEMPON revealed that his members were conscious of the remarkable improvement in the activities of the Port since Umar’s assumption of office in Rivers Port.
He pledged the support of the MEMPON members, saying they would always be ready to synergize with the Port to boost activities, while commending the Port Manager on the level of security the Port has attained, and urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards ensuring the provisions of facilities for better output.
In the meantime, a top aide of President Muhammadu Buhari is in trouble over the role he allegedly played prior to the departure of the president to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, last week.
There were indications, last night, that the aide, who has already courted many controversies for the Presidency, might be probed for the latest action and other scandals he had been enmeshed in since being put in the key post in the Presidency.
A top government source told Vanguard, last night, that the latest offence that got Buhari very upset, was the attempt by the said aide to breach the clear provisions of the Constitution regarding the transfer of power to the Vice President ahead of Buhari’s departure, last week, for his medical follow-up in the United Kingdom.
The source explained that although the President had upon his last visit to the U.K. personally told Nigerians that he would after his 49-day stay in London soon return there for a follow-up, the said official deliberately refused to share the information with other key aides of the president like the NSA, media aides and even the Office of the Vice President.
It was learned that it was not until the day of departure of Buhari that he himself kept asking about the whereabouts of his Vice that his aides who were around, hurriedly put a call to Osinbajo to urgently meet with the number one citizen. It was gathered that Buhari also personally put a call to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazia Yari Abubakar, to meet him at the Villa before his departure.
“The president actually insisted on calling the top government officials to come over to his residence that night to meet with him before his departure to ensure that there was clear understanding that he was travelling and wanted every relevant official of the administration to know about his trip and to demonstrate his full compliance with the laws of Nigeria.
“Mr. President did not want to be dictated to by the said official, who had earlier suggested to him that the transfer of power to the Vice President should be limited, while he should be empowered by the President to act as a liaison between the Presidency and the National Assembly, during Buhari’s absence.
The source said last night, “In fact, the man in question had actually drafted a letter meant for the president’s signature two days to Buhari’s departure stating that “the powers of the Acting President be limited” while he ( the aide in question) be authorized to coordinate things in a “broad sense until Buhari returns”.
“In the letter drafted by the controversial official for Buhari to sign, the officer also suggested that Osinbajo be restrained from taking any action on the Economy, Foreign Currency operations and the Central Bank of Nigeria among other strategic agencies of the government pending the return of Buhari.”
“Mr. President however shocked the aide largely believed to have won his heart by promptly rejecting the suggestions by taking the unprecedented bold step to personally meet with his Vice and the NASS leaders and brief them on the transfer of power to his Vice before leaving Nigeria for the U.K.
“It was at the meeting that Buhari pointedly asked Osinbajo to take full control of the administration and to have a free hand to run the system untill his return to Nigeria, something that rattled the powerful aide, who is said to be rooting for the creation of a cabal in the Presidency for his pecuniary interest,” the source said.
Top Government sources hinted last night that the President himself might have started losing confidence in the said aide when he constituted the panel which probed the suspended Secretary to give Government of the Federation, SGF,and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, without involving the beleaguered aide.
“On that particular occasion, unlike before, Buhari personally drafted the statement in conjunction with his media aides announcing the suspension of the two men and the composition of a panel to probe them without the knowledge of the aide in question.
“It was after announcement by the President that most other aides got to know about the suspension of Ayo Oke and David Babachir. This explains why even the embattled SGF himself ironically “which Presidency?” when confronted by State House reporters after the news was broken.
Additional report from Vanguard