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Shippers Council wants N20b Calabar Port dredging contract probed

Buhari

Buhari

NIGERIA Shippers Council has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to step in to investigate the terms and execution of the Calabar Port dredging contract awarded for the sum of N20 billion by the immediate past administration.

The contract, which was awarded to Calabar Channel Management (CCM) by the Nigerian Port Authourity (NPA) and flagged off by the former Vice President Namadi Sambo on November 17 November last year, is yet to take off effectively.

Briefing newsmen yesterday in Calabar, the President of Nigerian Shippers Association, Calabar branch, Mr. Mike Ogodo demanded that NPA should come out clear to assure the public that the 2014 dredging award was not a scam experienced in the past.

In his words, “We do not believe or expect that Nigeria Ports Authority is going to be positively reacting to our petition if not pressurised by some authorities. Consequently, we are seizing this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call for the contract file on the latest Calabar Port dredging awarded to Messers Calabar Channel Management for full investigation.

“The Nigeria Port signed off this contract on behalf of the Federal Government with the approval of Federal Executive Council granting it the direct authority to fund the project. It is for this reason we hereby call on the management of Nigeria Port Authority to inform Nigerians and the new administration of how much money it has disbursed to Calabar Channel Management with respect to this contract and for what quantum.”

He wondered, “Is it true that NPA has fully disbursed N20 billion to the Calabar Channel Management.

“They should urgently address us to alley our fears that the entire N20 billion has not been drawn down and that this contract unlike the earlier two awarded in 1996 and 2006 is not doomed to buried in the mud of corruption and treasury looting.”

He maintained that the council would not fold its hands and allow a third unsuccessful dredging attempt by authorities involved.

He added, “the Management Port Authority must come public on this contract and give us the necessary assurance that this is not a part of the agenda of cable within the Agency to frustrate every effort and attempt to dredge the 84 nautical mile Calabar Port access in the past 20 years.”

Reacting to the allegation that nothing has been done on the dredging even with money being paid up front by NPA, the Public Relations Officer of NPA Calabar Port, Mr. Chijioke Ukadike said, “I do not have much information on it and I don’t think that is the situation,” as presented.

However, he said, “The matters on dredging is managed and supervised by headquarters of NPA.”

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