Hadiza Usman in trouble as senate probes NPA’s $3bn spending on dredging contracts
The Senate on Wednesday began a probe into the $3bn allegedly spent by the Nigerian Ports Authority on the dredging of Lagos, Bonny and Calabar water channels. The NPA is headed by Miss Hadiza Usman.
The lawmakers mandated the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to investigate the “dredging activities, books and records” of the NPA and the three contracted companies, in each of which the authority holds 60 per cent stake.
They are Lagos Channel Management Limited, Bonny Channel Company Limited, and the Calabar Channel Management Company Limited.
The move followed a motion moved by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) and co-sponsored by five others at the plenary on Wednesday.
The motion was titled, ‘Senate‘s Intervention to Urgently Stop Monumental Financial Recklessness and Economic Waste by the Nigerian Port Authority Under Its Joint Ventures with Lagos Channel Management Limited, Bonny Channel Management Company Limited and Calabar Channel Management Company Limited.’
In the motion, Omo-Agege decried that despite being joint venture contracts, NPA was still spending more on the dredging projects.
He said, “The Senate is worried that although these JVs are supposed public-private partnerships conceived to reduce financial burdens on the Federal Government, the NPA has expended over $1bn and $2bn, respectively, on LCM and BCC from 2005 to date, while significant dredging is yet to commence on the Calabar channel; notwithstanding that it is an economic gateway to the North-Central and North-East geo-political zones of the country.”
Omo-Agege alleged that the NPA had “failed, refused and/or neglected” to ensure the JVs’ compliance with the Marine Environment (Sea Dumping) Regulations 2012 made pursuant to the Merchant Shipping Act 2007; the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters 1972, otherwise called the ‘London Dumping Convention,’ and the 1996 Protocol to the London Dumping Convention.
He pointed out that there were no dumpsites for the management of hazardous dredged wastes removed from the Lagos, Bonny and Calabar navigation channels, thereby leading to sustained severe pollution of Nigeria’s marine ecosystem.Punch