Group decries continued operation of convicted dredging firm in Nigeria

Posted by News Express | 1 September 2018 | 1,648 times

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A Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Cadrell Advocacy Centre, has decried the continued operation in Nigeria by Dredging International Services Nigeria Limited despite being convicted for bribing officials of a Federal Government parastatal before the advent of the present administration. This, according to the group, is contrary to Section 16 (8) (e) & (f) Of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

In a statement jointly signed by Evans Ufeli Esq, Executive Director, and Georges Macnobleson-Idowu, Programme Director, Cadrell said that it raised alarm earlier in the year when it learnt of moves to award the contract on remedial works at Escravos Channel-Replacement of Aids to Navigation and Minor Dredging at Delta Ports, Warri, to Messrs Dredging International Services Nigeria Limited at the sum of $44,861,596.81.

“We immediately wrote a letter dated the 6th day of March, 2018 to the Director General of the BPP drawing his attention to the notorious fact that the company they were about awarding a contract to, Dredging International Services Nigeria Limited, was convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in Switzerland, and that awarding the contract to the said company would be contrary to clear provisions of S. 16 (8) (e) & (f) of the Public Procurement Act 2007,” the group said in the statement.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Cadrell’s claims after its petition was referred to the anti-graft agency by BPP (Bureau of Public Procurement). The House of Representative Joint Committee on Ports, Harbours & Waterways and Public Procurement in exercise of its investigative/quasi-judicial powers, is also investigating the group’s complaints.

“But unfortunately the said company still maintains offices in Nigeria and continually enjoys government patronage. Against this backdrop, curiously, the company still maintains the Bonny Channel Dredging contract in Nigeria for which it was convicted in Switzerland,” Cadrell lamented.

Continuing, the group said: “As our little way of contributing to the fight against corruption, we have decided to use this medium to bring the above ugly trend to the notice/attention of Mr. President, the Presidency, and appropriate government agencies and the Nigerian People, who still believe that this country can be eradicated of Corruption, as acts such as these erode the confidence reposed by the people in the ability of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, to fight corruption, in spite of its zero tolerance for financial crimes/corruption.

“We also wish to use this medium to sensitise and call on all partners/stakeholders (both public and private) in the government’s fight against corruption, to rise up urgently and collectively address this ugly trend by insisting on the applicability of our various laws, to protect the future of the Nigerian Dream” from the hands of companies/government officials, who are daily raping her under the guise of contract execution/foreign investment and carting away funds to develop their countries.

“Conclusively and without prejudice to our rights to seek judicial redress, at the Federal High Court, to ensure compliance with provisions of the law which has been seriously violated by Agencies of Government (in collaboration with private companies) who are supposed to uphold it? We also want to use this medium to notify the appropriate Ministries/Departments and Agency of Government of our conclusion to seek redress for and on behalf of the Nigerian People. We believe that the Nigeria of our dream, free of corruption, is achievable.”

Source: News Express

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