Addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, a legal counsel to Dredging Atlantic Limited (DAL) alleged that the deal was marred with fraud…
– BPP admits Authority’s procedural lapse
Adewale Sanyaolu and Steve Agbota
Controversies have continued to trail the $44.861 million (about N16.150 billion) Warri Channel dredging contract awarded to Dredging International Services Nigeria (DISN) Limited, a subsidiary of Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Limited by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, a legal counsel to Dredging Atlantic Limited (DAL), one of the companies that bid for the deal, Mr. Liborous Oshoma, alleged that the deal was marred with fraud arising from inconsistencies on the part of NPA.
Oshoma alleged that figures were falsified in an attempt to ensure that DISN bid was at par with the bid of his client to enable it win the contract.
He said DAL emerged first in the technical bid by scoring 89 points as against 75 points scored by DISN, and that his client also won the commercial bid with a bid sum of $44.880 million as against $44.998 million bid by Dredging International Limited.
Documents in possession of Daily Sun revealed that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) admitted a procedural lapse on the part of NPA in arithmetic correction in the figures of DAL.
Responding to the allegations by DAL, Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr. Ibrahim Nasiru, denied the claims, saying the allegations were unfounded and incorrect. He said every tender process emanating from NPA goes through due process and that the Warri Channel dredging contract cannot be an exception.
In response to a request for an administrative review of the decisions of the procurement department of NPA in respect of the contract, BPP in a letter to the Managing Director of DAL with reference no; BPP/S.1/A&WR/18/Vol.l/079 dated March 23, 2018, admitted that NPA carried out arithmetic corrections on the financial tenders of both Messrs Dredging International Services Nigeria and Dredging Atlantic Limited as part of the evaluation process to ensure that tender prices are correct and that bidders are properly ranked.
“Section 31(4) of the PPA, 2007 supports correction of arithmetic errors. The NPA, however, failed to communicate the outcome of the corrections to the affected bidders in line with Section 31(5) of the PPA, 2007. This procedural lapse has already been communicated to NPA to ensure compliance in subsequent procurements but is not grievous enough to warrant nullifying the tender exercise.”
The BPP added: “Messrs DAL alleged that NPA refused DAL/its representatives to countersign all vital pages of the tender of Messrs DISN. The Bureau observed this lapse during the prior review exercise on this procurement proceeding and drew the attention of NPA to Clause 60 of the Public Procurement Regulations for goods and works, and advised NPA to ensure strict compliance with this procedure in subsequent procurements in order to enhance transparency and ensure there are no substitutions of bids after submission.