By Abdulwahab Abdulah
lagos—A law firm has threatened a legal action against the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), accusing it of not complying with due diligence in awarding of contracts in line with the provisions of Public Procurement Act.
Specifically, the firm, V.E,Bharalu & Co. stated that the NPA failed to comply with the laws in cargo bidding process, saying it reduced the submission of bids to 16 days as against the time frame allowed by the law.
The legal firm, which said it feels concerned over the alleged breach in procurement process as contained in Section 25(2)(ii) of the Procurement Act, which stipulates that submission of bids by bidders should cover a period of six weeks, has given till June 30, 2017, with which the authority must comply with the provisions.
It therefore demanded that it will seek redress in court if it (NPA) failed to comply with “ the wordings of the Section 25(2)(ii) of the Public Procurement Act CAP. P44 LFN 2004 forthwith as we consider your said public notice of December 27, 2016 as one made in error.”
However, NPA has debunked the allegation, insisting that it always followed due process in awarding of contracts.
Speaking through its General Manager, Procurement, Dandare Ahmed, NPA denied that the authority failed to follow due process.
“We are transparent and the bidding process is ongoing. So it is wrong for some of the contractors to say we are favouring some companies. Moreover, names of successful bidders have not been announced. We are following due process and we will do a thorough job,” he said.
In its petition, the law firm, V.E,Bharalu & Co. warned that failure to comply with the provisions of the Procurement Act at the end of the ultimatum will result into litigation against the agency.
The firm said it has successfully prosecuted such matters in the past and and is ready to do same in this case. In the petition to the Managing Director of the NPA dated May 22, 2017,a copied made available to the Bureau of Public Procurement, Abuja, stated it will leave no stone unturned over the issue.