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NPA Begins Settlement For $12.5m Port Dredging Contract

Posted on July 4, 2022

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), yesterday said the Federal Government has initiated out-of-court settlement  with Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited over the $12.5million Calabar Port dredging contract.
Speaking to newsmen after a tour of the Calabar Port, after paying a courtesy visit on the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, the Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said litigation between the agency and the dredging company has stalled the dredging of the Calabar channel.
He, however, disclosed that NPA and the Federal Ministries of Transportation and Justice have resumed discussions on how to settle the issue out of court so that dredging can continue and vessels with deeper draught can berth at the port.
“The channel management was awarded many years ago but there is litigation between the Nigerian Ports Authority and the contractor that was awarded the contract and this has inhibited our ability to dredge the channel. But, what we have done in recent time is to start looking for out of court settlement.
“The port authority is working with fedteral Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Justice. They have resumed discussions in terms of how to settle this out of court. That has to be done inorder for us to either return the same contractor to continue dredging, or appoint another company to do the dredging of the channel.
“That has been what has delayed or stopped the dredging of that channel. We have taken it very serious, it is one of the reasons we are here today and to also meet with terminal operators and discuss with them, reassure them that government is taking all necessary action to ensure that the issue is taken care of as soon as possible,” he said.
The NPA boss also disclosed that draft limitations has been hindering the calling of vessels at the Calabar Port but disclosed that discussion is ongoing with importers for more vessels to berth at the port using flat bottom vessels.
He stated that the port has close proximity to the North Eastern and Central part of the country, hence the need for it to be viable for importers in the North to import and export their consignment.
“In bringing traffic to Calabar, we are not oblivious of the draft limitations along the channels, but we believe that there are still business that can still come here, import can come to Calabar rather than taken to Lagos.
“Don’t forget that Calabar is strategically located as the nearest port to the North Eastern and some part of the Central states in the country.
“There have been regular interactions with importers which took place in Calabar some months ago and also Port Harcourt and we are here to have the same discussion.
“We have been discussing with shipping companies and the consignees themselves. We would locate major importers into the country and encourage them to use Calabar. And also, exporters to ensure export products are taken out through the seaports”, he said.
Bello-Koko continued continued that “about two days ago a vessel came in with a lot of trucks and equipment. It did not just come from nowhere, it came because of the efforts being made by the Port Manager and Executive Management of the NPA.


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