BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE,
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman has welcomed the decision of the Nigerian Senate to look into the activities of the Joint Venture Enterprises of the NPA, namely, the Lagos Channel Management, the Bonny Channel Company, and the Calabar Channel Management Company Limited, as raised in a motion on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.
In a statement signed by I. S. Nasiru, a Principal Manager, Public Affairs at the Authority, the NPA explained that its current administration had on assumption of duties, identified the challenge and taken immediate steps to address the unacceptable situation.
The statement explained that as part of the processes, an advertisement for expressions of interest for “Consultancy Services for Dredging and Channel Design Optimisation Studies” was placed in newspapers in October 2016 (Public Notice No 3957). This, according to the statement was an international competitive bidding.
It explained that at the moment, three companies have been pre-qualified for the assignment with a request for proposals (RFP) already issued towards the conclusion of the process for the award of contracts.
The statement said further that the studies, when completed, will provide accurate information on the depth and siltation levels of the channels and ultimately, guide the NPA on its next line of immediate and future actions on the channels.
The studies will additionally provide:
- A comprehensive review of the dredging practices currently adopted for the management of Bonny/Port Harcourt Channel, the Calabar Channel and Lagos Channel and to recommend ways in which these could be optimised with a view to enhancing dredging efficiency.
- A comprehensive review of the existing channel layout and recommendations on how the layouts can be optimised for current and projected vessel traffic in each of the pilotage districts.
iii. As part of the optimisation studies, it is recognised that the consultant will undertake further in-depth studies on hydrodynamic modelling, sedimentation modelling, navigation simulation studies and navigational risk assessments amongst others.
It explained that the NPA discovered that the cost of dredging of the channels has increased on a yearly basis in the past and that the study would provide guidance on specific measures to take to save cost.
The statement assured of the readiness of the NPA to collaborate with other agencies of government to ensure transparency in the execution of government business and work in the best interest of Nigeria always.
It concluded by stating that the investigation ordered by the senate was in line with the determination of the NPA to open its book for probity at all times and assured the senate of its cooperation always.