Alleged Fictitious Contract Awards: Reps set up committee to probe NIMASA

Elizabeth AtimeJuly 12, 20235 min
Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Minority Leader of the Reps

The lawmakers also cited allegations of abuse of office, under-remittance of debts by shipping firms, lopsided appointment and placements of Directors at NIMASA in breach of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

 

 

 

 

The House of Representatives has constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to probe alleged fictitious contract awards and lopsided placement by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The decision follows the adoption of a motion on the need to Investigate Alleged Fictitious Contract Awards, Gross Mismanagement of Billions of Naira and Lopsided Placement of Directors by the Nigerian Mạritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA), sponsored by the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Kingsley Chinda, Rep. Victor Ogbuzor Rep. Cyril Hart, Rep. Manu Soro, and Rep. Manuchim Onwuzuirike on Wednesday.

“The House notes the recent developments in the award of questionable and phoney contracts, fraudulent forex transactions, lopsided placement of Directors and other unwholesome and corrupt practices in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

 

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Also notes that there have been several allegations of questionable, inflated and fictitious contract awards particularly for non-operational speed boats, security surveillance contracts and Deep Blue Water Contract, revenue leakages and the award of contracts to cronies of the Director-General and other top management staff of the agency.”

The lawmakers also expressed concerns over the alleged under-remittance of debts owed the country by shipping firms, with the consent and connivance of the agency.

“Aware that the agency is alleged to have entered into a very dubious contract with a firm known as XPO Marine Limited’ for the lease of six (6) speed boats, each at the rate of $173,930.00 monthly, without a Need Assessment for such facility being carried out by the relevant departments of the agency, the said XPO Marine Limited had earlier been indicted for defrauding the agency to the tune of $80,000 in revenue.

Also aware that the security surveillance contract called Deep Blue Water Contract’ is suspected to be a conduit by the management of the agency to pilfer funds. A security contract tagged National Integrated Surveillance and Waterways Protection’ is also said to have been awarded to an Israeli firm, HSLI Systems and Technologies Limited at the cost of $195,300,000.00, despite an existing facility, which is a simple internet subscription via Lloyds Intelligence Platform for such operations.

Cognisant of the fact that the agency is also said to have an existing surveillance system (called Lloyd’s List Intelligence) for tracking the movement of vessels on Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Also cognisant of the fact that there is evidence that the agency’s legal department counseled against the consummation of the contract on grounds of some fraudulent claims in the agreement, but same was not heeded to. The facilities claimed by HSLI is said to be an existing surveillance infrastructure provided by KMBTS Limited, also an lsraeli firm whose contract with the agency at the instance of the agency’s former DG had long expired.”

 

READ ALSO: Reps to NIMASA: “Halt $700m disbursement to indigenous shipping companies”

 

They also pointed to other allegations such as abuse of office and lopsided appointment and placement of Directors of the Agency in favour of some interests to the detriment of others and in breach of Section 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), as well as other unwholesome practices within agency.

“Again aware of allegations of high-level corruption against the DG and top management of the agency in the form of withholding of remittable revenue by Gas Shipping Nigeria Limited, Daddo Marine Limited, Blue Seas Marine Services, Transocean Support Services Limited, leading to loss of huge revenue to the federal government.

Others are the award of contracts to the DG’s cronies and other top management staff of the agency in clear violation of the Procurement Act and other Financial Regulations. Such companies include COT Engineering Limited, Well Mann Construction Company Limited, Retin Technical and Commercial Service Limited, and Messrs. De-PK Ventures Limited.

 

READ ALSO: Lagos Rep heads Adhoc Committee to screen Service Chiefs

 

“Further aware of alleged cases of round-tripping and under declaration of foreign exchange earnings from the agency’s foreign Accounts.

Concerned that these allegations are of grave nature to be swept under the carpet or dismissed with a wave of the hand, particularly as it relates to economic losses on the part of the government.

Cognisant of the need to urgently investigate the allegations and unless and until this is done, the Federal government would continue to lose huge sums of money to an unconscionable and fraudulent cabal who are hell-bent on sucking the country dry.”

The Presiding Officer, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, consequently ruled that the Ad-hoc Committee should urgently commence an investigation into the allegations and report back within three weeks.

Note: Lead Sponsor of the Motion; Honourable Kingsley Chinda is the Minority Leader in the Tenth House of Representatives. Read more about the Rivers lawmaker here.

 

Elizabeth Atime

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