Seaport Concession: Reps uncover massive fraud, summon Ministers

Elizabeth AtimeMarch 5, 20243 min

Briefing journalists on the concession, Rep. Hamisu further explained that there was a need to find out why the companies listed were still operating without renewal.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Ministers of Blue Economy, Gboyega Ayitola and Transport Saidu Alkali over fraudulent concessioning of critical port infrastructure.

Also summoned are the Managing Director (MD) of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko; the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Mamman Ahmadu; the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Micheal Ohiani; and, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

The Chairman of the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Rep. Ibrahim Hamisu (APC, Kaduna) at a meeting with the seaport terminal operators lamented the absence of heads of key sectors as the Ministers of Transport and Blue Economy, the MD of Nigeria Ports Authority given the role they played in the concession of the seaport terminals.

Again, the majority of members of the Committee frowned at the shady manner in which the concessioning process was handled which had enabled five companies to operate for five (5) years without renewal therefore leading to a huge loss of revenue to the federal government.

Briefing journalists on the matter, Rep. Hamisu explained that there was a need to find out why the companies listed were still operating without renewal of the concession.

Some seaport terminals were given out on concession and five of them have expired. Some are from Lagos and some are from Port Harcourt. They were trying to see that their approvals were renewed in 2021. Somewhere, this renewal was not granted to them, but they have been operating since then. So we deemed it fit to cross-check and find out what the problem is. So we decided to invite them, and all the stakeholders like the Ministry of Blue Economy, ICRC, BPP, and the Ministry of Transport.

“After inviting them here today, unfortunately, only the seaport terminal operators are here. So we have discussed with them and have given a week period within which the Minister of Blue Economy, MD NPA, BPP and ICRC should appear before this committee on the 12th of March by 10 am, so we discuss with them, we see where the problem is and we take action so that we bring this lasting solution to the problem.

“The names of the affected seaport terminals are Port and Cargo Terminal, ENL Consortium Terminal C, ENL Consortium Terminal D, Josepdam Terminal and AMS Terminal. There are the five terminals whose concession period has expired and they have been operating illegally from 2021 to date and we want to investigate and see what is the problem and whoever is in charge of this we would deal with him,” he declared.

Elizabeth Atime

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