Burnt NPA House Repairs: Media group invokes FOI to compel NPA to name insurer
The Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), a body of journalists reporting the maritime sector is set to invoke the Freedom of Information (Fol) Act on the Management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to compel the authority to release to it, the name (s) of its insurer(s) and the status of its premium obligations before the recent fire incident.
A statement by the group notes that “The invocation of the Fol Act has become necessary in view of the refusal of the Authority to release the information to reporters despite multiple requests made in this regard.
“This action also becomes expedient in view of the fact that the public is yet to know the value of the loss over one month after the incident, and the insurer(s) is/are yet to announce payment of compensation as per the value of the loss.”
AMJON expressed surprise that whereas the Lagos State Government which recorded much more destruction and looting has released an estimate of what it will cost to replace destroyed properties and looted assets, a key parastatal of the federal government is hoarding information and playing some sort of hanky-panky with Nigerians.
The statement signed by AMJON’s President, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri, further reads:
“The invocation is also necessary as the federal lawmakers during their recent sympathy visit to NPA, to commiserate with Management of the Authority over the incident, advised NPA to adjust its 2021 budget to cover the repairs and replacement of stolen and damaged assets.
“Since NPA is yet to publicly reject the advice of the lawmakers to jack up its 2021 budget to provide for the ‘rebuilding’ of the burnt headquarters, we suspect that the NPA has already done as advised by NASS. To this end, we are minded to invoke the Fol and do hereby request that the NPA 2021 Budget be made available to us to enable us to properly inform the public.
“AMJON as a responsible media group view this effort as a patriotic duty to save the country billions of naira of taxpayers’ money which will be wasted if the National Assembly approves money for the replacement of the NPA losses in the incident when those losses are legally supposed to be replaced by the insurer(s), with taxpayers money used for the payment of its annual premium.”