Hadiza Bala Usman, the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says she did not award a contract to a company owned by Aliko Dangote.
Usman was accused of removing Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (Intels) from operating some coastline terminals at the Onne ports.
She allegedly gave the job to International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) Nigeria limited linked to Dangote but she denies ties with the billionaire.
In a statement, Usman explained she has no powers to unilaterally award contracts, adding that such must be approved by the NPA management team.
The embattled MD said a media report lumped the expired service boat contract between the NPA and Intels which commenced in 2007 with a review of a ten-year extension in 2011 that expired in August 2020.
She added that after expiration, the NPA initiated a procurement process in which Intels participated in line with all extant laws.
On Onne berths 9, 10 and 11, allegedly taken from Intels, Usman confirmed the berths were offered to Intels in 2013 without contractual agreement but a letter that required that the company pay rent.
Usman recalled that in 2018, the NPA discovered that Intels allegedly failed to make expected payments for five years nor put the berths to optimal use.
She said due to the under-utilisation of the facility, the non-contractual agreement with Intels and the need to decongest the ports in Lagos, the NPA offered the berths ICTNL for container cargo discharging.
“ICTNL has signed a contract for the lease of the berths with the Authority and has commenced the installation of a container handling equipment when INTELS instituted a court action challenging the withdrawal of the offer. That case is still in court!”, the statement read.
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Usman and approved the constitution of a panel to probe some infractions, including awarded contracts and remittances.
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