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Deep Blue Project: Reps direct BPP to provide contract documents

Deep Blue Project: Reps direct BPP to provide contract documents

OrderPaperToday – The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has denied keeping records of approval for the $195 million Deep Blue Contract, awarded to a foreign company, HSL International Limited.

Director-General (DG) of the agency, Mahman Adamu made this known when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Navy, probing the contract awarded in 2017 to provide coastal security surveillance for Nigerian waters.

Adamu, who represented the DG, Engineer Isaiah Yesufu, said though they issued the Certificate of No Objection to the company, they did not keep any records as every document relating to the matter was sent to the Ministry of Transportation.

READ ALSO: NEITI Embraces Open Data Procurement Process

He said the company was not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as Section 16 of the Procurement Act permits international companies to participate in the country’s procurement process, so long as they have the capacity as specified by the provision.

In his reaction, Chairman of the Committee, Yusuf Gagdi, (APC, Plateau) demanded procurement documents to show to the extent the company met up with the expectations according to law. The DG, however, said the agency does not have the records.

Members of the House Committee who also aired their opinion on the subject, said it showed a lack of efficiency and was also an indication that something was wrong.

READ ALSO: Reps to investigate Procurement ‘Cartel’

Speaking on the issue, Samuel Onuigbo (PDP, Abia) said:

“This is a serious business. When you look at honourable members here from diverse backgrounds and you come to tell us that an office; the basic function of an office is a place where documents are kept for easy retrieval, you are saying now because you handled it and you have given it out, so how about if someone else comes to ask, so you will be going to each Ministry?

Have you listened to yourself to know if you are truly talking to us or to other Nigerians? Because for me, you are making it look like this is not a serious business. You cannot say that. What you said is totally unacceptable.”

READ ALSO: Reps tackle Army, Navy, Air force over $195m Deep Blue Project Contract

In his response, Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, said following the need to enhance security of the waterways, he had obtained approval from the President and the BPP for the project.

The Minister said after the contract was secured, it was transferred to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for implementation. He added that security along the waters has improved following the project.

Committee Chairman, Gagdi, said NIMASA would be expected to explain every payment on the project at the next sitting, as the agency was absent at the meeting.

The BPP was also directed to ensure it got the relevant documents pertaining to the contract at the next sitting.

Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi has a BA in French and is a senior reporter at OrderPaper. She has keen interest in photojournalism and video documentary. She's also a writer and author of a book, "Pourquoi Le Francais." She likes reading, traveling and watching movies.
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