There is a lot of politics in the Calabar Channel dredging; it depends on who they awarded the contract to and who actually monitored the dredging whether they did it or not. If they did, they will have to produce a chart which will have shown the depth to which they were able to dredge; so if there is no evidence of that then it means they didn’t do anything. It is right for the government to do a thorough investigation because ships that are supposed to enter Calabar with deeper draft as they are advertised cannot enter because they will be going errant, where they are supposed to have deeper water. It’s good for government to find out what happened to the dredging contract and if possible prosecute those who are involved and the money should be returned for the same purpose.
Well, if the MD of NPA has gone on a tour and found out that no work was done, she should investigate on why the dredging not was done. Secondly, was money paid for the job and thirdly, money should not have been paid for a job not yet completed? I feel the government should start with an investigation based on the fact that a contract has been awarded, to find out from the contractor why the job has not been done and also to find out from those in-house if the money has been paid for jobs not done. Those are the preliminary investigation that should be done, then outside that, a decision should be taken on if to redo the contract and if money has been paid it should be returned and the company that awarded the contract should be sanctioned.
There has been a lot of controversy on the Calabar dredging contract, there were allegations by some indigenes of Cross River State that a company was awarded the contract and that the company did not perform and I think along the line the company came up with some explanations which we stakeholders in the maritime industry did not find laudable because we are concerned with the execution of the contract and not with stories. Today, the lack of dredging of the Calabar channel has wreaked havoc on the Calabar port. As a result of that, there is low patronage; the port with all the investment that was put into it has remained unproductive so to speak.
The businesses that are around the area which would have been promoted by a viable port have suffered. So today, Nigerians are the next losers for the last prosecution of the dredging contract awarded for the improvement of the Calabar channel by way of dredging. I wholeheartedly support that the contract should be probed and if the company that awarded the contract is found wanting in any respect, then bigger procedures should be put in place to prosecute them, revoke the contract and recover the money given to them except they are prepared to mobilize to site and carry out the work according to specifications as at the time the contract was awarded to them.
If the contract is given to a company and the work is not been done, can’t the company be called. Why should the government probe everything?This administration likes probing everything. I think the company should be called for questioning on why the dredging of the channel has not been done to hear their side of the story and not probe.For the four years tenure of this government all they are doing is probing and before the tenure is over, nothing will be done. I believe no committee should be set up for probing; rather the company in charge should be called for questioning.
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