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Four firms threaten to sue Nigerian Ports Authority over boat service contract

By Adaku Onyenucheya
13 October 2021   |   2:59 am
Four firms have issued a pre-action notice to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over an alleged plan by the Authority to award boat service contracts in the four pilotage districts

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Headquarters Marina.

Four firms have issued a pre-action notice to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over an alleged plan by the Authority to award boat service contracts in the four pilotage districts to an entity that did not participate in the procurement process as required by the Public Procurement Act.

The aggrieved companies are Pacific Silverline Ltd, Isasha Investment Ltd, ICA Logistics Ltd and Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Co. Nig. Ltd.

The pre-action notice, dated September 23, 2021, was addressed to the Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, by the solicitors to the four companies, Messrs Akinlawon & Ajomo.

The firms said NPA’s plan to award the contract to an entity that did not participate in the procurement process violates the Public Procurement Act, Cap P.44.

The notice titled “Pre-Action Notice Pursuant to Section 92 of the Nigerian Ports Authority Act CAP N126,” signed by Anthonia Titilola Akinlawon (SAN), reads in part: “We have the instructions of our clients to serve this pre-action notice. We were informed by our clients that they have prior to this time submitted expressions of interest for their engagement as service operations monitoring agents in four pilotage districts pursuant to Public Notice No. 4115 Lot 3 and that after a rigorous exercise of bidding and tendering in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, Cap P.44, they were shortlisted for the award of the contract.

“Our clients now have cause to believe that your Authority is about to award the contract to an entity, which did not participate in the procurement process.

“In the circumstances, our clients shall commence legal action against your Authority at the expiration of a period of one month from the date of the service of this notice.

It would be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had in September 2020 granted an injunction stopping NPA from terminating the role of INTELS Nigeria Limited as a manning agent in the four pilotage districts – Lagos, Warri, Bonny/Port Harcourt and Calabar.

The judge, Justice R.M. Aikawa, granted the injunction based on an application filed by INTELS Nigeria Limited and Deep Offshore Service Nigeria Limited against the NPA.

INTELS and Deep Offshore had requested the court to restrain NPA from preventing them from performing their duties as manning agents pending the determination of ongoing arbitration proceedings between the parties.

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