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Concerns Mount Over Delay in Dredging of Calabar Channel

Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

Posted on November 17, 2016

By Sulaimon Salau, TheGuardian

The Board of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has expressed concerns over the intrigues behind the undue delay in the dredging of the Calabar channel over the years.

The Board, during an inspection of the facility, expressed dismay that the nation is currently losing a huge sum of money to the dredging brouhaha.

Led by its Chairman, Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, the Board therefore, pledged to facilitate the successful dredging of Calabar Seaport as part of measures to generate more jobs and promote economic activities around that region.

Adesoye advised concessionaires to put their complaints in writing and forward to the Board for necessary action.

He expressed the commitment of the Board to hear from all sides and help facilitate the dredging of the Seaport in the interest of all parties and the general economy.

The Board members inspected facilities at ECM Terminals Limited, Intels, Doddy Jetties Oil & Gas, Shoreline Logistics Nigeria Limited, and Calabar Free Trade Zone, among other locations.

At ECM Terminals Limited, its General Manager, Kingsley Iheanacho, appealed to the Board to help facilitate the dredging of the Seaport, adding that the company was performig below its capacity despite mobilising huge resources to install state of the art equipment.

The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, had earlier promised to launch a probe into the controversial $56 million Calabar Channel dredging contract, to ascertain why so much was spent on the project without achieving the desired draft needed to attract bigger vessels to the port.

Bala Usman, observed that many operators at the Calabar Port had shut down their operations due to the shallow channel, which had impeded bigger vessels from berthing at the port.

It would be recalled that the $56 million contract for the dredging of Calabar Port Channel was awarded in 2006 but remains uncompleted till date.

The Federal Government awarded another contract in November 2014, for 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.

Source: TheGuardian

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