Managing Director of Calabar Channel Management (CCM) Company Limited, Mr. Bart Van Eenoo has raised the alarm over deliberate attempts to smear his company and ultimately stall the dredging of the Calabar Port which CCM won through competitive bidding in 2004.
Reacting to a media report recently that CCM was paid about 70 per cent of the contract sum without execution of the project, the MD told reporters in Abuja yesterday that “after a lull in the deliberate falsehood by our detractors to portray our company in bad light and set us up against the government of the day, they (detractors) are at it again spurning lies against us but like in all previous attempts, they will fail”.
He said that contrary to the misleading reports, “Our company is not involved in any contract with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) but a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement which the NPA has 60 per cent and CCM 40 per cent. Our company dredged the water channel by up to the envisaged more than 20 kilometers high spots within Tomshort Island before the NPA ordered stoppage of work.”
“Therefore, it is wrong for anybody to accuse CCM of receiving 70 per cent upfront when our company did not sign any contract with the NPA but a joint venture which the NPA is a co-owner and we are paid only when the NPA and the consultants certify that the level of work carried out tallies with our invoice(s). Again, how can anyone accuse our company of not doing any job when our partners- Boskalis and Westminster Dredging, internationally acclaimed companies, participated in all works done with relevant stakeholders, including the NPA’s Station Manager in Calabar then, alluding to the fact that CCM carried out appreciable work on the dredging until the disruption of work by the NPA. Even some of the stakeholders were always aboard the dredgers during the dredging to have a feel of the work done. It is absolutely not correct to say that we did not carry out any dredging at the Calabar Channel”, he added.