How Nigeria’s ex-president awarded N26 billion ports contract to a company with no physical office or address

Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, was voted out of office two years ago, but fresh revelations continue to emerge on the widespread corruption that characterized his five-year reign. The latest revelation as contained in a memo seen by online news platform, PREMIUM TIMES, suggests that the former president in collusion with his transport minister awarded a $12.5 million contract, through the Nigerian Ports Authority, to a company that has no traceable physical address or office.

The contract was awarded in the twilight of the administration without competitive bidding, in contradiction of the nation’s public procurement laws. It was gathered, that the former president, acting on the recommendations of the transport minister, ignored technical advice and overruled required procurement procedure in granting presidential approval to the deal between the company and the NPA.

The reports also reveals that on May 18, 2015, just before Mr. Jonathan left office, the director-general of the Bureau of Public Procurement told the president that awarding the contract, worth N26 billion in all, to a company that failed or refused to bid for the contract, amounted to “gross violation of due process”.

Investigations by Premium Times further reveal that the company has no physical or web address. A Lagos address purportedly belonging to the company turned out a sham. Security guards there told the newspaper there that the company was not one of the organisations using the office spaces at the address.

This is one of the several cases of corruption uncovered at the nation’s maritime regulatory agency since the appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman in July 2016. Ms Bala-Usman had suspended further payment to the company, explaining in an April 19, 2017 memo, that this was due to an investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over suspicion the company never embarked on any dredging exercise despite receiving pay.

Read the full report on PREMIUM TIMES