BusinessDay

Abandoned $56m dredging contract for Calabar Port to resume after 16 yrs

Mohammed Bello, managing director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), has given assurance that the dredging of the Calabar Channel awarded in 2006 to Messers Jan De Nul and Van Oord at $56 million has been resolved through an out-of-court settlement.

Bello, who spoke to journalists during his two-day inspection visit to the Calabar Port, weekend, said all contending issues bedeviling the dredging of the Calabar Channel have been amicably settled.

The NPA boss, who was accompanied by other management staff, visited facilities at the port and engaged with stakeholders, including the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Abasi Otu at his palace.

He gave the assurance that the Calabar Channel would be re-vitalised and sustained to enable the port generate revenue for the Federal Government.

In 2006 the Obasanjo administration awarded a contract for the dredging of the Calabar Channel to Jan De Nul and Van Oord at $56.million. The contract was abandoned midway.

Read also: Reps urge FG to re-award Calabar Seaport dredging

When President Jonathan’s administration came on board, it initiated the Calabar Channel Management Board (CCMB), a joint venture company between the NPA and a consortium led by Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Ltd, with the mandate to dredge the port.

The long years of non-activities at the Calabar Port have been attributed to its shallow water which prevents bigger vessels from berthing.

Meanwhile, Festus Olumati, the Calabar Port manager, while welcoming the NPA management team, said the port recorded increased activities between January and May 2022.

According to the port manager “our modest efforts have a huge corresponding increase in the port revenues from January to May 2022”

He said revenue generated in dollars within the period stood at $6,598.085, equivalent to N42 million, while total revenue generated amounted to N645,747.194.06.

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