The Nigerian Ports Authority has welcomed the move by the Senate to probe the activities of its Joint Venture enterprises.
The Senate had on Wednesday that it was ready to commence the probe of the $3bn allegedly spent by the NPA on the dredging of the Lagos, Bonny and Calabar water channels.
But the Managing Director, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, was quoted as saying in a statement on Thursday that the proposed probe by the Senate was in line with the determination of the organisation to open its books for probity at all times and assured the Senate of its readiness to cooperate with it.
The Principal Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Ibrahim Nasiru, who issued the statement, explained that the current NPA administration had on assumption of duties identified the challenge of non-dredging of the channels and taken immediate steps to address the unacceptable situation.
The statement explained that as part of the processes, an advertisement for expressions of interest for ‘Consultancy services for dredging and channel design optimisation studies’ was placed in newspapers in October 2016 (Public Notice No 3957).
It added that at the moment, three companies had been pre-qualified for the assignment with a request for proposals already issued towards the conclusion of the process for the award of contracts.
The statement said that the studies, when completed, would provide accurate information on the depth and siltation levels of the channels and ultimately, guide the NPA on the next line of immediate and future actions on the channels.
It explained that the NPA discovered that the cost of dredging of the channels had increased on a yearly basis in the past and that the study would provide guidance on specific measures to take to save cost.
The statement assured of the readiness of the NPA to collaborate with other agencies to ensure transparency in the execution of government business and always work in the best interest of Nigeria.