Promoters of the Badagry Deep Seaport have taken the Federal Government to court over the $2.6 billion contract for the project. The Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hajia Hadiza-Bala Usman, disclosed this recently.
According to Usman, it was impossible to move forward with the planned project which she said was wrongfully drafted. This is because after reviewing the Outline Business Case (OBC) for Badagry Deep Seaport, it was realised that the promoters wanted to take over some responsibilities of the Government like the marine services.
Usman reportedly wrote to the Ministry of Transportation to object the request made by the promoters. Letters were also sent to the promoters of the Badagry deep seaport, informing them that roles like marine services are the responsibilities of the Government as stipulated within the Port Act.
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Usman acknowledged that talks are ongoing to review the projects’ OBC so as to specify what roles are to be played by the Government and the promoters. However, the cancellation of the $2.6 billion contract did not go down well with the project’s promoters, a situation that resulted in a lawsuit being filed against the Government in the arbitration court.
Meanwhile, Usman said the cancellation was justified because the deep seaport master plan was wrongly done.
“We also understand that they will need a Port Master Plan. That is also a challenge that we have with the Badagry project. When I assumed office, I inherited a consultant that was supposed to do a Port Master Plan for the Badagry project, but the consultant did a very bad job. When we took the job to the consultant that did the project’s Terms Of Reference, our internal people looked at it and said it wasn’t good enough. Even the consultant that did the TOR confirmed that the job wasn’t properly done.”