Nigerian Shippers Association, NSA, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently investigate the N20 billion contract for the dredging of Calabar Port which has allegedly been abandoned.
Former Vice President Namadi Sambo had nine months ago signaled the commencement of the dredging of the port which was awarded to Calabar Channel Limited.
The association said in the last three decades, the contract for the dredging of Calabar channel, which stretches 84 nautical miles to the high sea, had been awarded thrice without being executed.
President of the NSA, Cross River State chapter, Mike Ogodo, said there was no physical evidence showing that the port would be dredged.
Ogodo, who was accompanied by the association’s vice president, Jackson Davos, among others, alleged that Calabar Channel Management Limited had been paid the N20 billion in full without carrying out any work.
According to him, the first contract for the dredging of the port was awarded in 1996 during the administration of General Sani Abacha and the little known Chinese company showed up for a while and then vanished.
Ten years later in 2006, the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the contract to two Dutch companies at the cost of $56million.
He claimed that both companies left the contract without completing their assignments.
He expressed grief that the happiness that trailed the November 17, 2014 commencement of the dredging was short-lived as it was obvious that there was no project in sight.
“On November 17, 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by his vice, Namadi Sambo, to flag-off the much awaited dredging of the Calabar port to the joy and happiness of all stakeholders.
“Sadly, our victory song has been rudely and tragically cut short. First, by the evidence of what is on ground or more appropriately, evidence of what we have not seen, and secondly, with the sad news concerning payment for the same contract whose execution is yet to begin.
“We are shocked that Calabar Channel Management Limited that won the N20billion contract has no identifiable office in Calabar. It will be good for the company and their Managing Director, Pieter Hekken, to come clean with stakeholders and the Nigerian public on why they are no longer interested in the continuation of the job.”

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