$ 1.5 Billion Channel Management, INTELS Contracts Pitted Amaechi Against Hadiza Usman

$ 1.5 Billion Channel Management, INTELS Contracts Pitted Amaechi Against Hadiza Usman

The suspension last week of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Chief Executive Officer Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman at the request of Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi was the culmination of a two-year war of attrition between the duo, sparked by a 2019 disagreement over whether to renew contracts. on channel management, THISDAY results have been confirmed.

It became known that in 2019, the NLA placed advertisements in newspapers calling for expressions of interest and suggestions.

Sources said three rounds of bids were canceled by order of the minister due to disagreements over selective and open bidding.

The trial was suspended until May 11, 2020, when the NPA posted a call for expressions of interest ad, which was again pushed back to October 2020 as members complained that they were unable to participate due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Controversial canals: Lagos, Port Harcourt (Bonnie) and Warri while Calabar is in court.

Each channel management contract is worth $ 100 million per year over five years, which means $ 1.5 billion ($ 600 billion) for three channels over five years.

On that day, it became known that Amaechi had demanded the selection of two Chinese companies to operate the Bonny and Warri channels, but the NPA rejected the request as it violated proper procedures.

An audit conducted at THISDAY showed that 12 companies submitted technical bids for the Lagos Channel, 25 companies for Warri and 18 companies submitted bids for Bonny.

At the end of the technical bidding process, three companies were selected for Bonnie and Warry, and two for Lagos.

Pelfaco Construction Nigeria Limited, Redstar and China Harbor (JV) and AA Ranno have been prequalified for Warri Channel.

Bellsea Limited, CRBC and CDBHC Limited (JV) and Borno Energy Limited / Dact Energy (JV) have been prequalified for Bonny.

Jandnul Limited and Hankuff Services Nigeria Limited have been prequalified on the Lagos Canal.

Prequalified companies submitted their bids between January and February.

Competent sources from the Bureau of Public Procurement told THISDAY that bids from three companies were accepted as winners.

These are: Redstar Limited for Warri, Bellsea Limited for Bonny and Hancuff Services Limited for Lagos.

The battle between Amachi and Bala Usman escalated this year when Amaechi wrote a letter to President Muhammad Bukhari asking for the reinstatement of INTELS’s pilot contract, which had expired last year.

In a letter to Bukhari in January 2021, Amayachi called for the reinstatement of all contracts between NPA and INTELS, which he said are now the subject of legal disputes between the parties.

The minister also called for the withdrawal of all issues currently in court or arbitration on both sides to allow him to resolve all outstanding issues “administratively,” a request that was accepted by the President on January 22, 2021.

However, at the request of President Bala-Usman, in a letter addressed to the Chief of Staff of the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari on January 25, 2021, he explained that the INTELS pilot contract had not been canceled, but had expired.

He also clarified that NPA, contrary to claims, still has three contracts with INTELS, including a concession agreement for Onne terminals A and B in Rivers State, which began in 2005 and ended in 2030; the concession agreement for Terminal A Calabar in the Port of Calabar, Rivers State; and the concession for the new and old terminal of Warri, Port of Delta, Delta State.

In the letter, Bala-Usman said: “The service boat operations management agent’s contract began in June 2007 with consideration of a 10-year extension in 2011, which will end in August 2020. The L authorities in 2017 served INTELS with termination. Notice of Failure to Comply with the Federal Government’s TSA Policy.

“Upon receipt of the notice, the company complied with the policy and an additional agreement was signed confirming compliance with the TSA, and the notice of termination was subsequently withdrawn.

“It is important to note that the agreement with INTELS for this service was not terminated, but the contract expired in August 2020. Pursuant to the Public Procurement Law (PPA), the authority launched a public tender in December 2019 pending the expiration of the contract to appoint a contractor responsible for providing this service to the authority. “

He added that INTELS, along with other tenderers, submitted their bids for the tender, but INTELS violated one of the announced tender criteria and was disqualified.

While this was happening, Amayachi wrote another letter to Bukhari, arguing that the NPA was short of operating surplus, asking him to suspend it.

This move, as it became known THIS DAY, contradicted the opinion of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), who in a letter to Amayachi warned against this request.

AuGF indicated in a letter dated April 16, 2021 that the NPA invoice for the period other than 2019, which is pending approval by the NPA board of directors, has been verified and is available.

AuGF, Mr Aguhu Adolphus, in a personally signed letter, said: “I am writing to respond to your letter, reference number FMOT / F & A / AuGF / 2017/4 / T dated April 6, 2021, with particular emphasis on second paragraph of the letter, and I would like to indicate the position of AuGF in relation to your request. With particular reference to paragraph 20, Annual Assessments and Audits, Law No. 38 of 1999 establishing the NPA, and Section 85 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I humbly advise the following: proper accounting of the authorities and related records associated with them, and, if certified by the board, the accounts they must be verified. auditors appointed by a listed body and in accordance with guidelines provided by AuGF.

“Nothing in subsection two of this section should be construed as authorizing AuGF to audit or appoint auditors for public companies, commissions, authorities, government agencies, including all persons and bodies established in accordance with a national act. The meeting, but the auditor general should: A. provide these bodies with: 1. a list of auditors who may be appointed by them as external auditors and from whom the bodies appoint their own external auditors, and 2. guidelines on the level of fees. paid to external auditors; and B. Comment on their own accounts and auditors’ reports on them.

“In accordance with points I and 2 above, I want to state that: The NPA Board of Directors duly appointed external auditors: Muhtari Dangama & Co (chartered accountants) and SIAO chartered accountants. These independent auditors have reviewed and published NPA certified accounts, duly approved by the board of directors, for the closed fiscal years: December 31, 2016, December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2018, respectively. ”

AuGF added that the 2019 audit conducted by Ms Mukhtari Dangama & Co. and the SIAO sworn accountants is awaiting approval by the NPA’s board of directors for publication.

He added: “In addition, my office conducted periodic audits during 2016-2018 and issued periodic audit reports along with commentary on their annual financial statements and audit reports in this regard, and reputable professional audit firms have already received a mandate from the board of directors. NPA directors under the Delegation of Authority Act – hence there is no reason for the Ministry to “advertise and select qualified audit firms to conduct an audit. Please follow the above guidelines and accept my best wishes. “

It was also revealed THIS DAY that Amaechi’s desire to have HLS International Limited, an Israeli company running a $ 195 million maritime security contract, notes that the Safe Anchorage Area (SAA) dispute, which was dismissed, was another reason for disagreements.

In 2017, the federal government approved a $ 195 million maritime security contract with the Israeli company HLS International Limited as part of an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project.

But, denying the anti-corruption stance of the Bukhari administration, Amaechi wrote to the government asking for an additional $ 22.99 million to hire rapid response vessels to monitor the unsafe situation in Nigeria’s waters.

In a reminder to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on July 22, 2020, Amayachi asked for government approval to extend the rapid response safety vessels charter for a period of one year, saying $ 195 million had already been approved for the same purpose. was suspended due to COVID-19.

The memorandum reads in part: “The purpose of this memorandum is to request FEC consideration for the extension of the lease 6 n. Rapid Response Vessel Units (FISV) on the same terms previously approved by the FEC in 2018, in favor of the next 6 n. service provider: Pearl HPW Limited, Thamson Energy Services Limited, Fairway Offshore Limited, Aquashiled Oil & Marine Services Limited, XPO Marine Services Limited and Peace Marine and Energy Limited.

The Council is invited to recall that at its 40th EU Meeting (2018), held on Wednesday 5 December 2018, it reviewed and approved the renewal of the contract for the charter of six rapid response safety vessels for a period throughout the year at a revised daily rate of 10 US $ 500 per vessel, totaling US $ 22,995,000.00 on an annual basis, which equals US $ 7,013,475,000.00 at the exchange rate of US $ 1 to US $ 305,00 inclusive of taxes. ”

Source: – Today

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