The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, has advised heads of government parastatals to imbibe the culture of transparency in the conduct of their business and in dealing with members of the public.
Usman stated this during the 38th edition of the Centre for Values in Leadership’s ‘Leader Without Title’ tribute and colloquium that was held in commemoration of the 86th birthday of Nat Okoro and 76th birthday of Chamberlain Oyibo in Lagos on Wednesday.
Speaking during the event, which had the theme, ‘Have Nigerian parastatals delivered on their promises?’, Usman pointed out that transparency should be at the core of the operations of government parastatals.
She noted that public servants were responsible to the taxpayers who must be served in a transparent and unbiased manner.
“Transparency in our activities is very important. We have to put in place standard operation procedures wherever they are required, and make those procedures public so that everybody knows who is responsible for what and how things are supposed to be done,” she stated.
The NPA MD discouraged members of the public from chasing letters in government agencies, adding that those letters were supposed to be responded to by the agencies concerned without the owners coming to persuade people to respond to them.
“Don’t go to offices to follow up on letters because it creates room for rent-seeking and patronage. As heads of agencies, we need to discourage people from roaming around the corridors of an organisation saying they want to follow up on letters. Our job as public servants is to respond to those letters in a timely manner,” she said.
Advising heads of agencies to always monitor the implementation of their programmes, Usman said, “I think heads of agencies should step out of their offices and go right to where they are implementing their programmes to see how they are done. We need to walk away from our bubbles as chief executive officers and go there and see how the foot soldiers are implementing the projects.
“Because if you sit on the sixth floor of your office, you are not going to know what is happening. By going there to see what they are doing, you are setting an example as a leader.
“Being a chief executive does not isolate you from your primary mandate. No matter what you instruct, if the person right there is not actualising it you have failed.”
She noted that achieving 24-hour operations at the Apapa Port required her visiting the area at midnight to supervise the implementation of the programme, adding, “Visiting the workers at the port at that time of the night gave them a sense of belonging.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]