The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has come under fire in the hands of the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Safetyy.
The Committee, Tuesday wanted to know why Peterside, awarded a contract to recover NIMASA’s alleged $5bn debt to a company registered in 2016, without a pedigree and at an exorbitant percentage.
This will be test case for corruption fight of the present administration.
A firm, SNECO Financial Services, which was incorporated on April 4, 2016, was awarded the contract.
The House committee, which is chaired by Umar Bago, is in possession of petitions, alleging the breach of due process and fraud in the award of the contract.
One of the petitions clearly stated that under the terms of the contract, SNECO would take 13 percent of the recovered debts, a figure the committee queried for being “huge.”
Lawmakers observed that this would be about $65million profit for the firm.
Bago said, “We have the petitions here. The petitioners consider this a waste of public funds.
“Why will NIMASA engage another firm to perform its functions? Why do we have staff in NIMASA? What is their work?”
Another member of the Committee, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Dan Asuquo, directed Peterside to produce the audited account of the firm.
“What is the pedigree of SNECO?
“Where is their audited account? We want to know their owners,” he added.
But, Peterside, a former member of the House, told the session that NIMASA complied with all due process requirements in awarding the contract.
He explained how the Bureau of Public Procurement awarded a certificate of no objection on the contract.
However, Peterside, denied that he ever mentioned that NIMASA’s debt was $5bn or $10bn as had been quoted by some persons.
According to him, the agency’s debts from 2004 to 2016 was $420.55m..
The lawmakers were not satisfied with his explanations and insisted on holding a full investigative hearing on the controversial contract.
“DG, there will be an investigative hearing. So, you can speak on those questions that you have answers to give now.
“On those questions that you are not ready to answer, please prepare fully and come during the investigative hearing,” he was advised.