From Uche Usim, Abuja
Mixed reactions have greeted the choice of Snecou Financial Service Company Limited as the new debt recovery agent for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the nation’s apex maritime regulatory body..
NIMASA’s debt, Daily Sun learnt is about $5 billion and has lingered for a long time, a development that is hurting its oversight operations.
While the NIMASA management reserves the right to appoint a recovery agent, some staff and other stakeholders are alleging that ‘due process’ was not followed in the emergence of Snecou, as other companies were not shortlisted to bid for the contract.
They also alleged the deal was used to curry political favours, as the company is owned by chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
However, NIMASA’s Spokesperson, Lami Tumaka, in a statement at the weekend said Snecou’s emergence was approved recently by the Parastatals Tenders Board (PTB) of the agency at its 55th session held at its Lagos head office.
The contract, which also sees the company serving as a revenue consultant, is for a period of two years, in the first instance, with an option for renewal.
Tumaka said: “Given the urgent need to recover the agency’s debts, which is in billions of naira, the agency sought and obtained approval for a “Certificate of No Objection” from the Bureau of Public Procurement, in line with the Public Procurement Act (PPA.”
According to the contractual agreement already endorsed by both parties, the contract is based on a success rate of 13 per cent using a benchmark of $19, 753, 012.36 and N239, 607, 155.52 monthly revenue, while a maximum cap of 15 per cent success rate is payable on any new revenue head discovered by the consultants within the contract period.
Snecou Financial Services Company Limited will be paid 13 per cent of only the revenue that is above the threshold of the approved benchmark in the course of the contracting period. Similarly, Messrs Snecou will also be entitled to a maximum of 15 per cent of new revenue streams discovered during the period.
This is in line with the vision of the Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, which is, in accordance with the agency’s Medium Term Strategic Growth Plan, part of which is to enhance the agency’s revenue.
According to the DG, “we have awarded a debt recovery contract which is totally different from what Global West was doing for NIMASA. The contract was not awarded to the Chairman of the APC in Rivers State. It was awarded to Snecou Nigeria Limited and we advertised the contract in several newspapers. So I don’t see what is wrong with awarding a contract to get our money from debtors.”
Peterside also noted that the agency’s debts is around four to five billion dollars, which has necessitated an urgent need to recover them in order to develop requisite infrastructure for the maritime industry. Debts owed NIMASA by various operators in the maritime industry had grown exponentially over the last five years, even necessitating an investigation and convocation of a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration in June this year.
FCT: Confusion at FCT old parade ground over clash of events
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Confusion reigned at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) old parade ground, Garki, Abuja yesterday as two private shows allegedly permitted by the authority’s sports directorate almost led to a free-for-all.
The popular Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc’s Star Trek, holding at the venue clashed with Abuja Showcase, a sports and entertainment event put together by a crop of youths under the platform of 3 T Link Entertainment.
The Star Trek show was to enter its fourth day, when the youths, whose programme included basketball, fashion show and music competition took over the venue as early as 11am, stopping guests and vendors for the brewery’s function from accessing there.
There was apprehension all over when the NB representative, whose name was not obtained, stormed the venue and demanded that the gate be thrown open. According to hi, the company had paid N1.5million to the FCTA for the use the venue till October 8.
While the NB official said there was nowhere the two events could run at the same, the other party pleaded that they reached a meeting ground since they paid N250, 000 for the venue.
But the Acting Director of Sports, in a phone conversation, scolded one Chibuzor, who secured the venue for 3T Link, for not telling her that their event would attract get fee.
According to her, the minister would not take it lightly with that people were charged to attend an event at the old parade ground. She emphasised that neither Chibuzor nor their letter seeking approval to use the basketball court indicated that their activity would go beyond the basketball court.
The Abuja Showcase organisers quickly countered the director, arguing that they even paid advance for the venue before the NB.
As at press time, the issue was yet be resolved.
EDUCATION: We won’t compromise on curriculum standard, says NCCE
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Bappah Aliyu, has said that the commission would never compromise on the curriculum and other academic standard of colleges of education.
He further said that such compromises has been responsible for the significant drop in the quality of teachers being produced by the colleges, with negative effect on academic performance of students under their tutelage.
Bappah, therefore, warned management of federal, state and private colleges of education to desist from acts contrary to the desire of the government on education.
The NCCE helmsman, who spoke in Abuja last week, disclosed that the commission, which has statutory powers to supervise and regulate academic activities of the colleges, had taken adequate measures to ensure that the institutions complied strictly with the minimum standard in its operations.
He said that part of the measures was that all colleges of education, federal, state or privately owned, must pass through the periodic resource visitation and accreditation exercises that is conducted by the Commission.
He said: “Many people have complained bitterly about the declining standard of education in Nigeria, with majority attributing it to the low quality of teachers being produced by these colleges. So, we are committed to correcting that belief through the innovations that would come on stream in no distant time.
“NCCE supervises teacher training institutions. The training is not only in the content of subject area or in knowledge but also in character. We are interested in teachers who are committed to the job, not people who take up the job because they don’t have a choice.”
HEALTH: Polio: NPHCDA targets 13 million children for vaccination
From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
To prevent new cases and return Nigeria to its polio-free status, which was recorded for two years, the Acting Executive-Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Odu, has announced the planned vaccination of 13 million children against the diseases in the northern region and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
After 24 months of not recording a case of the polio virus in the country, three children were confirmed to have been paralysed by the disease in Borno State. The cases were traced to Gwoza, Jere and Monguno Local Government Areas, once controlled by Boko Haram.
Speaking at a media parley over the weekend, Odu explained that the new cases of paralysis caused by polio was recorded among children from liberated areas in Borno State, which were worst hit by the insurgency.
He said in response to the latest development, polio response immunisation rounds, which are the second phase, would be conducted in the FCT and 18 states in the northern region this month to prevent new infections and to strengthen the immunity of children under five years, who have been vaccinated at different times in the year.