There are strong
indications that the face-off between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Senate Committee on Marine Transport may result in moves that would culminate in the revocation of the N5.1bn complete rehabilitation contract of the Authority headquarters building in Marina, Lagos.
This came to light, as reports posited that NPA failed to meet its financial commitment towards the development of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos, may delay the actual completion of the project. The Authority was said to have failed to pay its 20 per cent equity till date.
Chairman of the committee, Hajia Zaynab Kure, dropped the hint, while lamenting on the pathetic state of the NPA headquarters, pointing out that one of the reasons why the Committee came was to ask questions in respect of the contract, but found the NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi inexplicably absent at the venue.
“Now, talking about performance of ongoing projects of the NPA, the headquarters of the agency has not performed according to expectations at all. If I have my way, I will revoke this contract”, she observed, pointing out that at the rate funds had been allocated and utilised, they weren’t expecting a headquarters surrounded by scaffolds.
“We expected to be seeing a brand new NPA headquarters. Not to have come to see scaffolds here and there, covering almost all the building. That was why we refused to wear the helmets when we arrived because from what we have seen, there is absolutely nothing to inspect at the headquarters.
“We are totally disappointed with the progress of the work at the NPA headquarters. This is the flagship of the NPA. This is where everybody will refer to as the NPA house, yet the project has been lingering for how many years.
“If I have the right, I will revoke this contract and let it be re-awarded to a contractor that will build it in good time for everybody, not only Nigerians. So that people coming from outside will come and see a befitting headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“We expected the headquarters to have been commissioned before our coming; but what we are seeing is displeasing. It’s an eyesore.”
Echoing same notion, another Committee member, Senator Ben Ayade, said he was disappointed that the contract, with very poor local content base was still suffering and dragging as it should not.
The Tide learnt that the N5,001,785,839.05 contract was awarded during the time of former Managing Director, Engr. Omar Suleiman, for a complete rehabilitation and expansion of the NPA headquarters and was awarded to Messrs. Sageto Nigeria Limited in 2010 with an 18-month completion mandate, while Messrs AIMS Consultant Ltd bagged the consultancy job for the project.
Sadly, however, more than three years later, the project was only about 50 per cent completed, with scaffolds littered the facade of the headquarters building.
NSC Boss Warns Maritime Agencies Against Unhealthy Rivalries
The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has warned agencies in the maritime sector to avoid superiority rivalry, saying it has done the industry more harm than good.
He also advised heads of maritime agencies to avoid cosmetic cooperation and come together for the development of the industry.
Bello gave this warning at a sent-forth ceremony organised in his honour, last Friday.
Bello bowed out of service last Friday after eight years of service.
He was appointed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. Before his appointment, he was the Director, Legal Services of the NSC.
Bello noted that some agencies spent so much in defending their territories while neglecting their statutory mandates.
According to him, “There is lack of synergy among the agencies and I don’t think it is succeeding because it has been the basis of equality. There is no agency that is better than the other.
“Agencies are not graded by their budgets but what they contribute, but it is very unfortunate some agencies think that maritime starts and stops with them. No, it cannot work.
“Some agencies are trying to defend territories and in doing so, they go to a large extent and that is not good. They spend a lot of money to defend these territories while they neglect what they are established to do and that’s why we are not developing and that’s what Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never take from anybody not now, tomorrow or forever. We are all equal, we all have contributions to make.
“We can’t be having cosmetic cooperation, we have to have real cooperation”.
Bello said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had undergone a lot of transformations, saying the era of state capture was over.
He lauded the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Ministry for giving the Council the opportunity to achieve a lot through their supports.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Okowa Seeks Permanent Site For Maritime Varsity
The Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to develop the permanent site of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.
Okowa made the call while playing host to the Governing Council of the university during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba.
He said the establishment of a permanent campus would go a long way in putting the university on a sound footing, and ultimately enable it to deliver on its core mandate of imparting sound maritime-related education on students.
The governor said he was happy that the institution took off academic activities at the temporary site but urged the Federal Government to make resources available for the construction of buildings and provision of amenities that would enhance academic activities.
He noted that the birth of the special educational institution for the training of manpower in the maritime sector had strengthened peace and the economy of riverine communities.
Okowa advocated the need for more projects to be sited in riverine areas because of the inputs of riverine areas to the economy of the nation.
“We thank God that the Maritime University has started even when we have challenges because we do know that the take-off of the university brought good news to our people and helped us to build peace, particularly in our riverine areas”, he said.
Earlier, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Elias Courson, commended Governor Okowa for his inspiring and magnanimous support towards the take-off and continued development of the university.
He also thanked the governor for establishing three additional universities in the state, which would provide additional access to quality education not only to Deltans but to Nigerians.
Dr Courson, however, appealed to Okowa to assist the university in completing the renovation/ remodelling of the classroom blocks, construction of additional staff quarters and provision of a potable water scheme in the campus.
By: Chinedu Wosu
2022 Nations Cup: S’Eagles To Travel To Cameroon By Boat
The Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) says it will convey the Super Eagles of Nigeria by boat to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup.
Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Abdullah Balogun, stated this in a statement.
“We plan to take Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup after achieving that of Benin Republic — this is a goal we have set for ourselves”, Balogun said.
LAGFERRY said they considered the boat trip following the success recorded in the Benin experience.
He said, “It was a major milestone for us to transport Nigeria’s national team to the Benin Republic through the waterways.
“Coming on board LAGFERRY through the international route to the Benin Republic is a mind-blowing experience. We were excited to be part of it”.
The LAGFERRY boss said the success recorded in the Benin game, where the Eagles won 1-0 away, was as a result of the trouble-free trip.
“It reflected on the field of play and it showed on their (players) performances because they came out victorious in the game,” he said.
Balogun said the players, during next year’s boat trip, would enjoy free Wi-Fi, USB pots and a lot of entertainment and side attractions enabled by technology.
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