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House Investigates the Award of Contract for the Dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

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The House of Representatives at its plenary session of Thursday May 3 2018 mandated its Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways and Public Procurement to investigate an alleged award of Contract for the Dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other infractions related to the award of the contract. The said Committee was also given a 4-week time frame to report its findings for further legislative action.
Presenting the motion on the floor of the House, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP: Delta) highlighted the strategic and economic importance of water transport and maritime trade to Nigeria’s economy. He also stated being aware that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the sum of N10Billion for the dredging of the Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel and commended the Government’s efforts to embark on the said projects. He stated that the projects would revive and re-energize economic activities of the Niger Delta Region and the entire South-South Geopolitical zone, if successfully implemented.
However, he expressed worry that the NPA took advantage of the FEC’s approval to award the N10Billion contract for the dredging projects by failing to include it in its budgetary provision for National Assembly to appropriate. Furthermore, Hon. Ossai explained that the NPA failed to adhere to due process as it awarded the contract to a company whose reputation and professional competence was questionable as it had bee convicted of committing several criminal offences in many countries. Lastly, he stated that the motion was borne out of a need to frustrate attempts by some “faceless persons” who had resorted to blackmailing individuals and organizations that intended to raise the alarm over the alleged illegality in the said contract.

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