Dredging scandal: Umar asks Saraki to discipline lawmakers
Former military governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has called on Senate President Bukola Saraki to enforce discipline among his colleagues over the Calabar channel dredging scandal.
Some senators were alleged to be working for removal of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman over cancellation of the dredging contract award to Niger Global Engineering and Technical Ltd, owned by a senate committee chairman, following allegations of irregularities.
In an article made available to Daily Trust yesterday, Umar said “No member of a committee, much less a chairman, should remain in his duty post once credible information about possible crime is received on the person.”
Tracing the origin of the scandal, Umar said a subsidiary company of the NPA went into a joint venture with a private company to manage the Calabar Port known as Calabar Channel Management (CCM) and the private company, Niger Global Engineering & Technical Co. Ltd.
He said the Joint Venture was paid $12.5million upfront from the NPA with a balance of $22m before several petitions were received alleging the contract as a fraud.
Umar said the ownership of the Niger Global & Engineering Co. Technical Ltd is the same with Master Energy Commodities Trading Ltd, which attempted to smuggle rice into the country quoted as ‘wheat’.
“Incidents such as these are the reason the Nigerian public feels let down by our Parliament. They are the reason why a whole lot of Nigerians take a dim view of members of the National Assembly. Some even believe the conduct of our legislators is a major factor holding Nigeria down; why it is a laughing stock among the nations of the world,” he wrote.
“It is the duty of all Nigerians to demand correct conduct from all public officials, including from members of the National Assembly; especially the Senate,” he added.
Niger Global & Engineering Co. Technical Ltd is owned by Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo) who is also chairing a Senate panel probing activities at the countries ports.