Transport minister debunks maritime contract scandal

Transport minister debunks maritime contract scandal
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo

 

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has denied allegations of his involvement in the hijack of a maritime contract at the Nigerian Ports Authority.

His rebuttal comes following reports of his involvement in a maritime contract scandal two weeks before the exit of the current administration.

At the commissioning of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Abuja Zonal Office in Abuja on Tuesday, said if a contract is beyond the threshold of the Nigerian Ports Authority, then it becomes the duty of the ministry to conclude the process of procuring that contract.

According to him, if the procurement process is at the ministerial tenders board level, then it ends at the ministry.

He, however, claimed that if a contract had to go to the Federal Executive Council, certain other processes were required, including seeking a ‘no-objection’ from the Bureau of Public Procurement, adding that the National Assembly was responsible for overseeing the actions and inactions of the executive arm of the government.

He further said that the Ministry of Transportation was in the process of ensuring that all the terms and conditions for beneficiaries were favourable when the suspension of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund was announced.

Similarly, in a statement signed by the minister, he described the publications as false and baseless, adding that they were orchestrated to tarnish his reputation and undermine his work.

Sambo, who oversees the NPA, urged the public to disregard those unfounded allegations and focus on the ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency of maritime operations in Nigeria.

The minister also noted that he remained committed to delivering on his mandate and would not be distracted by any smear campaign.

The statement partly reads, “My attention has been drawn to false and baseless publications on some online media platforms regarding my alleged involvement in a purported hijack of a maritime contract at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a parastatal under my supervision. These allegations are nothing but a smear campaign orchestrated to tarnish my reputation and undermine my work as the Minister of Transportation.

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