The suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, has denied awarding any coastline terminal contract to a proxy firm of Dangote Group.
Usman, who made the clarification in a statement on Sunday, noted that the report is not true.
“My attention has been drawn to a report published by an online medium, alleging that I, Hadiza Bala Usman, was involved in a clandestine ploy to shortchange a company in favour of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
“This report is false, without foundation and a figment of some wild imagination of the news platform,” she stated.
The suspended NPA boss added, “To start with, the Nigerian Ports Authority has an executive management team, which always considers and takes business decisions on all assets of the Authority in the best interest of Nigeria.
“To claim that I singlehandedly awarded a contract in my capacity as managing director, is, therefore, irresponsible, mischievous and defamatory.”
The embattled technocrat said the report mischievously lumped the expired boat contract between NPA and the Integrated Logistics Services.
“The report also mischievously lumped the now expired service boat contract between the NPA and INTELs, which took off in 2007 with a review of a 10-year extension in 2011, to culminate in expiration in August 2020, with the lease under discussion.
“The service boat contract expired through the effluxion of time and the Authority initiated a procurement process in which INTELs participated in line with all extant laws,” she stated.
Usman expatiated, “Concerning Onne berths 9, 10 and 11, which the report alleged was ‘clandestinely’ taken from INTELs; here is the true position.
“The Authority offered those berths to INTELs in 2013 without any contractual agreement, although the offer letter required that the company should pay rent to the Authority for the use of the berths.”
She further stated that, in 2018, the agency realised that INTELS had neither been making payments for five years nor was using the berth to optimal use.
“The Authority then wrote INTELs to request the payment of the arrears of monies that were unpaid and expand the utilisation of the facility.”
The suspended NPA boss further explained, “With the continued under-utilisation of the facility, the fact that there was no contractual agreement with INTELs from the outset and the urgent need to decongest the ports in Lagos, the Authority offered the berths to an internationally-renowned container handling company, Messrs International Container Terminal Nigerian Limited for the use of the berths for container cargo discharging.”
She said ICTNL had signed a contract for the lease of the berths with NPA and commenced installation of container-handling equipment, when INTELS instituted a court action challenging the withdrawal of the offer. “That case is still in court,” Usman pointed out.
Noting that “according to reports in the media, ICTNL has refuted allegations that it has connections with Alhaji Aliko Dangote.”
She also noted the insinuation of a non-existent monetary transfer between Alhaji Dangote and herself during the 2015 elections. “As I told People’s Gazette when I was approached about this story, no such transaction occurred.
“Having gone through the trouble to give this explanation, I demand that Sahara Reporters publish this rebuttal and give it the same measure of prominence given to the false story, which runs against all known ethics of journalism,” she added.
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