Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has welcomed the decision of the Senate to investigate the activities of the Joint Venture (JV) enterprises of the organisation.
The JV enterprises are: the Lagos Channel Management (LCM); the Bonny Channel Company and the Calabar Channel Management Company Ltd.
Recall that Nigerian Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Marine Transport to investigate a N3billion fraud allegation against the agency.
The allegations were raised in a Point of Order moved by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the lawmaker representing Delta Central Senatorial District.
Reacting, NPA Principal Manager, Public Affairs, in a statement said that the Senate’s decision was in line with the determination of the authority to open its books for probity at all times.
He noted that the present management of NPA had on assumption of duties, identified the challenge and taken immediate steps to address the situation.
Nasiru said NPA was ready to collaborate with other agencies of government to ensure transparency in the execution of government business and work in the best interest of Nigeria always.
The spokesman said as part of the processes, an advertisement for Expression of Interests for “Consultancy Services for Dredging and Channel Design Optimisation Studies was placed in newspapers in October 2016.
He said so far, three companies had been pre-qualified for the assignment with a Request For Proposals (RFP) already issued toward the conclusion of the process for the award of contracts.
“The studies, when completed, will provide an accurate information on the depth and siltation levels of the channels and ultimately, guide the NPA in its next line of immediate and future actions on the channels”.
Nasiru added that the studies would additionally provide a comprehensive review of the dredging practices currently adopted for the management of the Bonny/Port Harcourt Channel, the Calabar Channel and Lagos Channel.
He said there would also be a comprehensive review of the existing channel layout and recommendations on how the layouts could be optimised for current and projected vessel traffic in each of the pilotage districts.
“As part of the optimisation studies, it is recognised that the consultant will undertake further in-depth studies on hydro-dynamic modelling, sedimentation modelling, navigation simulation studies and navigational risk assessments.
“The NPA discovered that the cost of dredging of the channels has increased on yearly basis in the past and that the studies would provide guidance on specific measures to take to save cost,” Nasiru said.