Maritime Politics

Alleged $195m Security Contract: Reps to probe NIMASA, Transport Ministry

Alleged $195m Security Contract: Reps to probe NIMASA, Transport Ministry
Written by Maritime First

…As Izuwah says FG approve projects worth $8bn under PPP in 8 years***

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to probe an alleged $195,500.000 contract awarded to an Israeli security firm to secure Nigeria’s waterways by the Ministry of Transportation.

This is sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) at the plenary on Thursday.

Moving the motion earlier, Kalu said that the amount if converted to naira would be over N93 billion.

Kalu said that there is an urgent need to investigate the matter because the money used in paying the Israeli security company was borrowed and it will be due for repayment by June 2020.

He alleged that of the 95 million dollars, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) sourced $30,400,000 without consulting the National Assembly for approval.

Citing relevant Sections of the Constitution about powers of NASS, the lawmaker said that due process was not followed, hence the need to probe the matter further.

Kalu recalled that the eighth Assembly had carried out a similar probe on the alleged contract scam in 2018.

“What is meant for Nigerians should be spent for Nigerians because the security of the Nigerian waterways cannot be placed in the hands of foreigners,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the house, Rep. Ahmed Wase mandated Committees on Marine and Institutions and Public Procurement to investigate and report back within four weeks for further legislative actions.

In the meantime, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said that the Federal Government approved Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects worth eight billion dollars between 2010 and 2018.

Izuwah disclosed this during presentation at a Joint Public PPP Consultative Forum and Nigeria PPP Network in Abuja on Thursday.

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He said the projects were under the regulatory guidelines of ICRC.

He stated that as at October, there were 139 pre-contract projects at development and procurement phases at the commission.

According to him, in June 2019, there are 69 post-contract PPP projects under implementation at the ICRC’s project disclosure portal.

The director-general said the commission had accomplished a lot of projects under PPP.

He said those projects include Lekki Deeper Water Port, Warehouse in a box medical stores, NIWA Onitsha River Port, Ibom Deep water Port.

Others include Gurara, Silos, Farm Mechanisation, ECOWAS Biometric cards and Warri-Itakpe line to Warri Deep sea port.

The President of Afreximbank, Mr Benedict Oramah called on Nigerian government to pay attention to details in developing public projects.

Oramah represented by Mr Kofi Afoso from the bank said the country should ensure that its PPP officials had required knowledge to ensure a balance between private and public sectors.


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