Contractors Alleges Fraud in N3.5bn Baro Port Contract

The Punch

An indigenous contractor, Mr. Danjuma Aliyu, has urged the national Assembly to investigate how the contract sum for the construction of a port in Baro, Niger State, was inflated from N2.9bn to 3.5bn by the Ministry of Transportation and Bureau of Public Procurement.
Aliyu, who is the Managing Director of Hoffman and Danja International Limited on of the 12 companies that bid for the project, in a petition to the chairman of the House of Representative Committee on public Accounts and BPP and the Economic Advisor to the President, alleged that the award of the contract to a Chinese company, Messrs China Gezhouba Group Corporation Global Project, did not follow due process.
Our correspondent gathered that 12 companies bided for the project with tender sums ranging from N2.5bn to 4.5bn while details of work to be done included hydraulic fill, soil and sub-soil investigation, construction of wharf, administration block, water and power supply.
The received tenders were analyzed based on responsiveness to bid, arithmetic error, comparison and reasonableness, percentage deviation from NIWA’s in-house estimate, completion period and experience on similar jobs.
A certificate of “no objection” was issued in favour of the Chinese company for the construction of the inland River Port and ancillary facilities at Baro, Niger State on Wednesday last week after an “emergency” meeting between the Director-General BPP, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, Mr. Ahmed Yar’ Adua and the Minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio.
The special assistant to the President on project Monitoring, the Director (Transportation and Planning) and the Deputy Director (Coastal and Port Administration) in the ministry were also invited to the meeting.
A notice of the meeting issued by the permanent Secretary, Mr. Femi Oluyisade on behalf of the minister, said the meeting directed President Umaru Yar’ Adua to deliberate on three outstanding NIWA projects namely, Baro River Port, Onitsha River Port and Prime Consultancy-Lower River Niger Dredging.
Our correspondent gathered that BPP issued the certificate of no objection to the Chinese company after the meeting which barely lasted two hours.
But the action was a volte-face from the BPP’s position of September 2, 2009, when it maintained in a due process review report that the contract could not be awarded to the Chinese company, which quoted N2.9bn for the job.


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