…Says it is a blatter lies and rumour
Following wide spread criticism of alleged manipulation in the ongoing cargo survey bid at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), a cargo surveyor who is one of the bidders, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stewart Intersea Global Services, Arthur Ottor, has described as rumour the alleged manipulation by the port authority.
It is recalled some aggrieved bidders had, in the last few weeks, been accusing the management of NPA of attempting to award the contracts to ‘incompetent’ companies allegedly belonging to some politicians who are allegedly eyeing the 2019 Presidential election. The bidders had alleged that top management staffs of the NPA are working in tandem with some politicians to use ‘incompetent ‘companies to get the contracts so as to raise funds for the 2019 election.
“The so-called bidding process of NPA cargo business is a sham and is now in the open. Due process has been completely neglected. Experience no longer counts. One of the companies that will be given the job is the one owned by one of the former Executive Directors, Marine and Operations, who pleaded and cried before the new MD of NPA. So the company is to be given a job in Onne, to monitor petrol and a company also said to belong to one of the current General Manager will be given General Cargo contract in Warri. These companies have done nothing relating to cargo monitoring and inspection and they are ready to award them the contracts for 10years as against the usual five years,” the bidders alleged.
The bidders had also alleged: “Other companies the management handpicked are those brought by the Managing Director who presented the companies as companies from her former boss and they are to be given the choicest of the job though without experience or qualified personnel, and not in compliance with the Procurement Act. Others are companies that belong to two of the Executive Directors who are also alleged to belong to a serving Minister. The move by the NPA authority is a way of mopping up funds in solidarity for the 2019 presidential election ambition of a northern governor who is presently studying for Phd in one of the universities in Europe.”
However, while talking on the issue, Ottor discarded the alleged manipulation and expressed confidence in the NPA’s management to choose ‘the best out of the best’.
“ I have been reading in the papers about the alleged manipulation but I do not agree the NPA management will manipulate the bid to favour some incompetent companies. My believe is that they will choose the best out of the best among all the bidders especially since there is a consultant given the job to access all the bids and come out with the names of the best. Every one of us, including the NPA management, is working for the progress of the industry. The process is ongoing and as far as I am concerned, I am ready to work with the management and whichever companies emerge as winners. The progress of the industry is what is important,” he said.
He added: “There has never been any manipulation on the part of NPA in the past in awarding the contracts and I do not believe there will be any attempt to do that now under Usman Even names of successful companies have not been made public so I consider all the allegations as rumour. NPA also knows the importance of awarding the contracts to experienced companies because of the sensitivity the job entails so I believe the management led by Hadiza Usman will always do the right thing.”