From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko, has disclosed that series of litigations have stalled contract awarded for dredging of Calabar Port.
Koko, who made the disclosure at an interactive session with management and staff of the Calabar Port held at the NPA Office in Calabar at the weekend, assured stakeholders that despite the court cases, the management remains committed to dredging of the Calabar channel.
According to him, the Ministry of Transport as well as justice are working to ensure an out of court settlement with the contractor so as to go ahead with the project.
The Managing Director said: “The contract for the dredging of the Calabar channel was awarded so many years ago but there is a litigation between the NPA and the contractor and this has inhibited our ability to dredge the channel.
“But what is done in recent time is to start looking for an out of court settlement. So, the NPA is working with the federal ministry of transport ad well as justice and have resumed discussions in terms of how to settle this out of court.
“That has to be done to enable us know whether to use the same contractor to continue the dredging or appoint a new channel management company to do the dredging of the channel.
“We are taking the dredging very serious and that is why we came in here to meet with terminal operators and assure them that government is taking steps to ensure the issue is resolved soon”, he said.
He said the new management welcomes constructive feedback and promised an upward review of salaries and emolument, management of the Port led by Olumati Festus for their commitment to service.
In his remarks, the Calabar Port Manager, Olumati Festus, also commended the executive management of the authority for the massive support to the port.
He listed a number of achievements at the Port to include improved revenue, ISO 9001-2015 certification, and many others.
As part of the visit, the Managing Director inaugurated some projects including a fire station building as well a pilot cutter.