Nigerian Lawmakers To Probe Maritime Agency Over Alleged Illegal Contract Awards

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Nigerian House of Representatives has resolved to probe the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the country, over alleged fictitious contract awards, mismanagement and lopsided placement or directors in the agency.

This followed the adoption of a motion by the minority leader, Kingsley Chinda and four others, imploring the House to investigate alleged unwholesome practices by the management of NIMASA.
The House also resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to undertake the investigation and report back to it within four weeks for further legislative action.
Mr. Chinda, while leading the debate on the motion, noted that there have been allegations of award of questionable contracts, fraudulent forex transactions and lopsided placement of directors in the agency.
” There have been several allegations of questionable, inflated and fictitious contract awards particularly for non-operational speed boats, security surveillance contracts and Deep Blue Water Contract, revenue leakages and the award of contracts to cronies of the Director-General and other top management staff of the agency,” Mr. Chinda said.
He also alleged that there were allegations of under-remittance of debts owed the country by shipping firms, with the consent and connivance of the agency.
The lawmaker noted that there were allegations that NIMASA allegedly entered into a questionable contract with a firm “for the lease of six speed boats, each at the rate of $173,930.00 monthly, without a needs Assessment for such facility being carried out by the relevant departments of the 
agency.”
“The security surveillance contract called Deep Blue Water Contract’ is suspected to be a conduit by the management of the agency to pilfer funds. A security contract tagged National 
Integrated Surveillance and Waterways Protection’ is also said to have been awarded to an Israeli firm( names withheld) at the cost of $195,300,000.00, despite an existing facility, which is a simple internet subscription via Lloyds Intelligence Platform for such operations.There is evidence that the agency’s legal department counseled against 
the consummation of the contract on grounds of some fraudulent claims in the agreement, but same was not heeded to” he said.
The lawmakers, therefore called on the intervention of the parliament, saying “unless and until this is done, the 
Federal government would continue to lose huge sums of money to an unconscionable and fraudulent 
cabal who are hell bent on sucking the country dry.”

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