LAGOS – The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied reports that it has cancelled the $2.6bn Badagry deep seaport, stating that what was cancelled was the 25 Years Port Development Master Plan which was initially poorly done by the consultant handling the project.
In a chat with the NIGERIAN TRIBUNE on Monday, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman explained that due to a very bad job done on the initial Master plan, the Authority is in the process of re-awarding the contract for the development of the plan which will guide the nation on the establishment of ports in the years ahead.
According to the NPA MD, “With Badagry Deep seaport, the Outline Business Case (OBC) was reviewed. Some of the responsibilities of government was taken and put in the OBC for Badagry port. I have objected to that and written to the Federal Ministry of Transportation on this.
“I have also written letters to the promoters of the Badagry Deep Seaport, telling them that roles like marine services are responsibilities of government as stipulated within the Port Act. So, they cannot take it away and say they are going to provide such services. This is where we are with the Badagry Deep Seaport. We are currently discussing with them to review the projects OBC, so that it states what their obligations are and what government obligations are.
“We also understand that we will need a (25-year) Port Development Master Plan. When I assumed office, I inherited a consultant that was supposed to do a (25-year) Port Development Master Plan, but the consultant did a very bad job.
“When we took the job to the consultant that did the projects Terms of Reference (TOR), our internal people looked at it and said it wasn’t good enough. Even the consultant that did the TOR confirmed that the job wasn’t properly done.
“So, because of these issues, we cancelled the contract, and the projects promoters took us to court. We are currently in arbitration. Now we are working on re-awarding the contract. I just gave the go-ahead for the engagement of another consultant that will do the Port Master Plan. The Master plan will allow us to know where ports should be deployed in the country in-view of environmental issues, in-view of commercial and financial viability.”