The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has revealed that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has waded into the controversial $56 million Calabar dredging contract.
Disclosing this at a recent joint meeting of both committees of the Senate and House of Representatives on Maritime Transport and National Council on Privatisation, Hadiza Bala Usman, said that she was not sure if the dredging was actually carried out on the port channel.
According to her: “There is an EFCC investigation on the Calabar Port channel dredging project, just as the Ministry of Transport has also directed the management of the NPA to carry out its own internal findings.
“The Calabar Port channel dredging has become very controversial, there is a need to tread carefully on the matter.”
The NPA boss also revealed that the management had met with the Calabar Channel Management (CCM) Company demanding the hydro-graphic report and a full data on the status of the contract.
She also hinted that NPA will also have to wait for the outcome of both the EFCC and NPA’s internal investigation before any payment or any progress can be made on the project.
“Besides, NPA owns 60 per cent of the joint venture company known as the Calabar Channel Management Limited. We will not make any further payment until we are sure that dredging work was actually carried out.
“Internally, we will ensure that everything that has to do with the Calabar dredging was done following due process,” she added.
It will be recalled that the $56 million contract for the dredging of Calabar Port Channel was awarded in 2006 and remains uncompleted till date. The Federal Government awarded another contract in November 2014 at N20 billion to complete the project.
Specifically, the contract was awarded at the initial sum of N3 billion in 1996 but it was later re-awarded in 2006 at $56 million. The contract, which was signed by the NPA, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the Calabar Channel Management, was for the port to be dredged up to 9.8 metres.