By: Eno Antia
The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), says it has taken Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited (NGETCL) to court to refund the sum of ₦4.32 billion ($12 million) paid to the company for the Calabar Channel Dredging contract which was not executed, The Lens has been informed.
NPA also said that last year it terminated the contract because the (NGETCL) had claimed a payment of $21 million for a job not done.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman disclosed this recently in Lagos while speaking with journalists.
She claimed that NGETCL had alleged that NPA was involved in fraud in the award of Warri channel dredging contract.
Her words, “We could not verify, so we terminated the contract. We are in court with them, asking them to refund $12 million that was paid to them. the company also was engaged through a process that was not in compliance with the BPP Act”.
“There was a letter from the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that the company’s appointment was a gross violation of the BPP Act, and that the president was misadvised and should never have signed off the joint venture with the company that is now petitioning”.
Bala Usman dismissed allegation of corruption in the award of $44.86 million (₦16.150 billion) Warri channel dredging contract to Dredging International Services Nigeria (DISN) Limited.
The Managing Director, who noted that NPA followed due process, said that DISN was a subsidiary of Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Limited, the company that was convicted by the Swiss government and fined one million Swiss francs by the court for bribing ex-officials of the NPA.
The NPA and Dredging International services Nigeria and Dredging Atlantic Limited (DAL) were currently embroiled in disagreement over the Warri channel contract.
Bala-Usman, at the weekend, explained that NPA was guided by the Public Procurement Act in the award of the contract, stating that the agency would not succumb to any blackmail by Dredging Atlantic Limited through advertorials or any means to conform to their petition.
She said, “The conviction is attributable to payments that were made to certain individuals within the NPA, Federal Ministry of Transportation and other agencies to facilitate payment of invoices from NPA. The deposition that they provided to the Swiss court was that the Nigerian port refused to pay them their joint venture invoices, demanding for payments. They also listed payment that were made to militants in the Niger Delta to enable them have access to their dredging works. With that, the Swiss court sanctioned them and convicted them for making payment outside of the contract”.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 12.