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Bidders call for transparency in NPA cargo contracts

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They urged the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Usman, to make sure none of her executives was allowed to manipulate the process for personal gains and to favour some politicians.

The management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has been urged to ensure that due process is followed in the contracts bidding process.The call was made by some NPA bidders who also insisted that, “nothing short of due process will be acceptable” to them.

They urged the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Usman, to make sure none of her executives was allowed to manipulate the process for personal gains and to favour some politicians.

The bidders gave the advice at the end of a meeting held in Abuja over the weekend.Some aggrieved bidders had, in the last few weeks, raised the alarm on the alleged attempts by some top management staff of the NPA to award the contracts to ‘incompetent companies.’

Last week, the aggrieved bidders also said they had resorted to taking legal action against the ports authority in order to compel the management to follow due process and criteria as outlined in the Procurement Act.

The bidders who did not want to be named, said they were also strategising on how to put their case before the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari, imploring them to look into the alleged abuse of due process that the management of NPA employs to “handpick” companies for the contracts.

However, at the last meeting of the bidders held again in Abuja over the weekend, they reiterated their stance on due process and urged the ports management to follow it.

“Nothing short of following due process as stated by the Procurement Act will be acceptable and we will to go to courts if petitions written to President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly and security agencies fail to yield positive results. We are using this medium to reiterate our belief in due process and advise the ports management especially the procurement manager to follow due process in selecting competent companies. We insist that due process must be followed and we will not accept manipulation in any form,” they insisted.

The Managing Director, Stewart Intersea, Mr Arthur Ottor, whose company also bided for the contract, in a telephone conversation, had last week reiterated his confidence in the ability of the NPA management to do the right thing.

“NPA is the employer; so they can choose whom they want to work with, but based on what the MD had said about transparency, I believe she will not tolerate any of her staff who attempts to manipulate the system that she has been trying to sanitise. The aggrieved bidders should give her the benefit of doubt and trust in her judgment to do the right thing,” he said.

Likewise, the Managing Director of Cardiff Global, Mr Efefiong Udoma, in a telephone conversation, had expressed confidence in the ability of the NPA management to do the right thing.

Mr. Justus Duru, the Managing Director of Interfric Nigeria Limited, also said he had heard about the rumours but said he believed only time would tell if the rumours were true. “I will only appeal to those who allegedly want to manipulate the system to be mindful of their action because of posterity and God’s judgment,” he stressed.


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