- The board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) approved the payment of $35 million (about N20 billion) to the company that won the controversial contract shortly before it was dissolved last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, The Nation has learnt.
- The payment, it was gathered, was made by the NPA, even as a legal battle over the contract was pending in court.
- The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) told reporters yesterday that the contractors had vanished.
- The amount is for two quarters – $20.5 million for the last quarter of last year and $14.5 million for this year’s first quarter.
- The contract, billed to last for two years, is worth about N20 billion.
- The nod for the contract, a source close to the Federal Ministry of Transport alleged, was given by the former President Goodluck Jonathan to the NPA, which bypassed the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
- The BPP Act of 2007 empowers the agency to monitor public procurement, harmonise government policies and practices by regulating, setting standards and developing the legal framework and professional capacity for public procurement.
- The award of the Calabar port dredging, an official who pleaded not to be named, is one of the avenues used by the previous administration to siphon public funds through the NPA.
Source: The Nation