NPA alerts public to blackmail, smear campaign

The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has raised the alarm over plans by some unnamed groups and individuals to embark on a campaign of calumny and smear against some of its officials, especially, the Chief Executive, Mohammed Koko Bello, alleging sharp practices and other financial infractions.

In a statement by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mrs. Josephine Moltok, the NPA alleged of “a calculated, well-funded and oiled campaign of calumny, blackmail and disinformation against the Authority and some of its officials.”

Moltok said that, “over the past few days, nebulous and shadowy groups without due registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) hiding under the toga of civil society groups have embarked on issuing distorted press statements, arranging press briefings in dingy motels and inducing phoney online outlets to publish outright lies, absolute falsehoods and defamatory articles against the NPA and the management.

“These groups and individuals are also regurgitating dubious petitions and sending same to various government agencies and posting same on social media to discredit the some personnel of the NPA management.”

She further alleged that the unidentified groups and individuals “have also added forgery to their devious act by superimposing the logo and seal of the NPA on letterheads to deceive the unsuspecting public of contracts allegedly awarded to some unknown companies and entities.”

The NPA, she explained, has a defined bidding process in line with extant rules and regulations regarding procurement and contract awards as over the years, the NPA especially under the leadership of Mohammed Koko Bello has as its watchword, transparency, accountability and integrity.

While warning those behind the alleged smear campaign to desist forthwith, Moltok said “the management has alerted security agencies to this attempt to cause bad blood, create confusion and possibly the breakdown of law and order at the ports.

“We further enjoin media organisations like the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Nigeria Guild of Editors to advise its members not to fall prey to these unscrupulous individuals and revert their minds to the ethical and professional demands of accuracy, balance, fairness and social responsibility.”

She stressed that the NPA, the management remains committed to improved trade facilitation, revenue generation, and unprecedented remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and is in tune with President Bola Tinubu’s FDI drive of which the ports are a key component.

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