Reps to probe NPA over dredging contract infractions

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By Omotilewa Quadri 

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate allegations of infractions in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) award of contract for the dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel.

This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion during plenary by Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).

Ossai, while moving the motion, noted that the water transport and maritime trade were strategic and of great importance to the Nigerian economy.

He said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier approved N10 billion for the dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel.

The lawmaker said that if the projects are implemented, they would revive and re-energise economic activities in the Niger Delta region.

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He, however, alleged that NPA took advantage of the FEC approval to award a contract worth N10 billion for the dredging of the Warri Port and Escravos Channel without any prior budgetary provision or appropriation.

The legislator alleged that the contract was awarded to a company whose reputation and professional competence has been smeared internationally.

He said that the company had suffered several criminal indictments and convictions in many countries.

The lawmaker expressed worry over attempts by some faceless persons to blackmail individuals and organisations raising alarm over the alleged illegality in the award of the contract.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways and Public Procurement to investigate the alleged infractions and report backwithin four weeks for further legislative action.    

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