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Why they want to shoot down Calabar Channel Management Company – Bart Eenoo

Managing Director of the Calabar Channel Management (CCM) Company Limited, Mr. Bart Van Eenoo has raised the alarm over deliberate attempts to smear his company and ultimately frustrate the dredging of the Calabar Port which CCM won through competitive bidding in 2004.

Eenoo told reporters in Abuja on Thursday that as part of the plan, the NPA and some powerful individuals in the society have in the past few weeks, mounted negative media campaign against CCM in a bid to portray “our company of not winning the bid for the dredging of the Calabar Channel through due process and indulging in other infractions”.

Reiterating that the entire contract followed due process, he said NPA openly advertised for the establishment of a Channel Management Company for the Calabar navigation channel which Niger- Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited, duly bid and won leading to the establishment of Calabar Channel Management with a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement with the NPA with 60% and 40% equity respectively.

According to him, the NPA  advert titled “Public Notice No.3551: Invitation for pre-qualification for the management of the Access Channels to all Nigerian ports” and published  in several newspapers on Wednesday, April 21,2004, invited bidders which  Niger- Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited, leading a consortium of companies bid and won.

“The entire contract followed full advertisement in the media and due bidding processes with all the necessary approvals and vetting of the agreement by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) before its execution. It was after a rigorous exercise that our consortium won the bid. It is the same consultants – Mobotek that handled the selection process for the Lagos Channel Management Company and the Bonny Channel Management Company that conducted the bidding process which our Company passed the financial and technical bids and was duly handed a ‘No Objection’ Certificate by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

“It is therefore curious that in the last few weeks stories, ostensibly planted by these people are saying that the contract did not follow due process, was not advertised and that BPP declared that it was hired in violation of due process”, he stressed.

Eeno maintained that CCM has so far carried out dredging of the water channel by deploying dredgers, survey vessels, buoyage tender, wreck removal cranes and other ancillary marine crafts to the water channel and

“We had achieved several milestones, concentrating on spots in the channel critical to navigation which so far, 16.3 kilometres out of the envisaged 20 kilometres high spots had been dredged with the deepening of the channel to 6.5 metres datum but work was suddenly disrupted by the NPA without any formal communication to our company”.

On the alleged non- submission of certificate of completion to the NPA as reported in the media, he said the contract is for a period of 15 years and “there cannot be a certificate of completion until after the 15-year period.What we have are interim payment certificates which we submit to the NPA in line with the terms of the contract’s agreement supervised, verified and certified by NPA technical consultants before payments are made”.

He also said linking a serving Senator to the JVC is a misnomer as “at the time the contract was advertised  in 2004, no senator, serving or former  was on the Board of our company” and that the NPA is a major shareholder of the company with equity of 60 percent which the MD of NPA  is the Chairman of the company, though the current MD has not deemed it fit for any Board meeting since her assumption of office.

Eeno maintained that CCM has so far carried out dredging of the water channel by deploying dredgers, survey vessels, buoyage tender, wreck removal cranes and other ancillary marine crafts to the water channel and

“We had achieved several milestones, concentrating on spots in the channel critical to navigation which so far, 16.3 kilometres out of the envisaged 20 kilometres high spots had been dredged with the deepening of the channel to 6.5 metres datum but work was suddenly disrupted by the NPA without any formal communication to our company”.

“Instead of the smear campaign, let those concerned, particularly the  NPA to do the needful for the dredging to continue by paying our invoices to enable us resume operations because  all  the equipment and personnel deployed for the project under the JV Agreement are currently on ground, accruing demurrage which contractually, the Federal government is bound to pay, no matter when”, he added.

 

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