• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Group wants FG to probe N90bn Calabar port dredging contract


 The Federal Government has been called upon to institute a probe into the N9 billion Calabar port dredging contract that yielded no result.

Bolaji Akinola, president of Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN), said at a retreat organised by the association in Gwagwalada, Abuja, that Nigerians should be fully briefed on how the N9 billion earmarked for the dredging of the port in 2006 was spent.

According to him, the new Calabar port dredging contract currently being contemplated by the Federal Government should not be awarded until an explanation is given on the previous contract.

He also called on the government to pay attention to the report of the 15-man committee set up by President Jonathan at the Presidential Maritime Retreat held in July 2012.

“I am aware that the committee has concluded its work and submitted a report to the Federal Government, but that seems to be the end of the story as no further progress has been made. One would have thought that with the dire state of the maritime industry, government would have attended to the report of the committee with a sense of urgency,” he said.

The MARAN president said the maritime industry in Nigeria stood the risk of total collapse if government failed to pay serious attention to matters affecting the industry before the end of this year.

He also lamented the shoddy handling of the Ports and Harbours Bill currently at the floor of the National Assembly, saying there was disconnect between the executive and legislative arms of the government on the passage of the bill.