Firm Petitions N’Assembly, Alleges Violation of PPA in $44m Warri Port Contract

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

A firm, Dredging Atlantic Limited/Westminster Dredging and Marine (DAW), has accused the Bureau of Public Procurement, Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Ports Authority of violating the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007, in the award of the contract for remedial Works at Escravos Channel.

The contract includes replacement of navigational aids and minor dredging at the Delta Port, in Warri, and is worth about $44 million.

The firm claimed that while it was the winner of the bid, the contract was awarded to Dredging International Services Limited (DISL), one of lowest ranking bidders, during the opening of the bid, in a process manipulated by the three government bodies.

According to a copy of the petition signed by the company’s legal adviser, Mr. Liborous Oshoma, the BPP ignored an official complaint made by DAW, and hurriedly concluded the administrative review of the bid process. It also accused the NPA of manipulating the publicly announced tender figures of DISL for the contract bid.“How come the lowest bidder as publicly announced (DAW) had “errors” and or additional figures (increase) of N11,709,932.84 ($38,393.23) to arrive at $44,918,741.22 as against $44,880,348.21, while the highest bidder (DISL) had “errors” and or subtracted figures (a reduction) of $136,456.95 (N41,619,369.75) to arrive at $44,861,596.81, as against $44,998,053.73, from their announced figures,” it read.

The firm also queried why the BPP failed to comply with the provisions of Section 31 (5) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and notify it of any arithmetic corrections, or invite it to either adopt of defend/deny the figures.

DAW said its technical partner, Nigerian Westminsters Dredging and Marine Ltd, has already worked on the said Escravos channel in the past, and is therefore versatile in the field.

Explaining that its petitions to the government bodies have failed to yield any fruit, Oshoma urged the National Assembly to prevail on the agencies to award the contract to DAW, or disqualify DISL.