By Isaac Anumihe
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), yesterday, promised to provide all necessary information regarding the dredging of Lagos, Bonny and Calabar water channels in the event that a probe of its activities on the projects becomes imperative.
In a statement, the Principal Manager, Public Affairs of NPA, Mr. Ibrahim Nasiru, said the agency has nothing to hide when the senators begin the probe of the expenditure incurred in dredging the three channels.
The statement explained that as part of the processes for the dredging contracts, an advertisement for expressions of interest for “consultancy services for dredging and channel design optimisation studies” was placed in newspapers in October 2016 (Public Notice No 3957).
According to the statement, three companies have been pre-qualified for the assignment with a request for proposals (RFP) already issued towards the conclusion of the process for the award of contracts, adding that the studies, when completed, would provide accurate information on the depth and siltation levels of the channels and ultimately guide the NPA on its next line of immediate and future actions on the channels.
“The studies will additionally provide a comprehensive review of the dredging practices currently adopted for the management of Bonny/Port Harcourt channel, the Calabar channel and Lagos channel and to recommend ways in which these could be optimised with a view to enhancing dredging efficiency.
“As part of the optimisation studies, it is recognised that the consultant will undertake further in-depth studies on hydrodynamic modelling, sedimentation modelling, navigation simulation studies and navigational risk assessments, among others,” the statement said.
Nasiru said the cost of dredging the channels had increased on a yearly basis in the past and that the study would provide guidance on specific measures to save cost.
Earlier, the Senate had mandated its Committee on Marine Transport to probe the amount spent on dredging of Lagos, Bonny and Calabar water channels. This followed a motion moved by a senator from Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Omo-Agege had said that despite being a joint venture contract, NPA was still spending more on the dredging projects.