Calabar Deep Sea Port: War Of Words Continue Over PPP Arrangement

In Breaking News, National News, Politics, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch admin

Site of the proposed deep sea port and the governor and his deputy looking at the drawing of the project and the evacuation corridor
Site of the proposed deep sea port and the governor and his deputy looking at the drawing of the project and the evacuation corridor

The war of words between aides of the Cross River State governor and critics of the government who say the Ayade administration is not forthcoming with information about the proposed Public Private Partnership, PPP for the Calabar Deep Sea Port, has continued unabated online.

Rights activist and APC chieftain, Barrister Obono Obla has accused the administration of going into partnership with a company, Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited; which does not have the capacity to deliver on the proposed project while the governor’s aides insist that Barrister Obla is deliberately misinforming the public with wrong information.

In the proposed PPP, Messrs Michael Le Harve, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited with office Address at No. 69/70 Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria is expected to invest the sum of 500million Euros into the Calabar Deep Sea Port.

Under the Public Private Partnership Arrangement with the Government of Cross River State, the Government of Cross River State will execute a 25% Bank Guarantee in favor of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited.

But Obla, who has called on the EFCC to investigate the PPP has claimed that he has unravelled facts in the course of his inquiry “to believe that the purported investment of Mr. Micheal Le Harve and his company, Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited is a scam to defraud the people of Cross River State of Nigeria in collusion with unscrupulous and unpatriotic officials of the Government of Cross River State of Nigeria.”

According to Obla, “The impression created by the Government of Cross River State of Nigeria is that Mr. Harve and Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited are foreign investors based in Europe but an investigation carried out by me in the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, Nigeria revealed that Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited is a Nigerian Company based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

“The registered number of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited is 410547.

“The Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited was incorporated on the 11th May 2001.

“The Names and Shareholders/Allotment of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited as follows:

“Kenneth Emeka Allen Ahiakwo, No. 21 Agudama Street, D/Line, Port Harcourt, Rivers State -2,080,000 Ordinary Shares.

“Kalaiyo Thomas Kalabro, No. 14B, Thaba Tseka Street, Adetokunbo Ademola, Wuse 2, Abuja-1,560,000 Ordinary Shares.

“Micheal Le Harve, No. 14B Thaba Tseka Street, Adetokunbo Ademola, Wuse 2, Abuja.

“However, on the 12th June, 2015, the shares of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited were increased from N200,000.00 to N5,200,000.00.

“On the 8th July 2015 the following Directors were appointed for Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited including:

“Ahiakwo Kenneth Emeka Allen

“Kalaiyo Thomas Kalabro

“Le Harve Michael

“Before the share capital of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited was increased, the holders of its shares include:

“Eze Ebere, No. 13, Palace Road, Omoku, Port Harcourt, Rivers State-10,000 Ordinary Shares.

“Victor Ahiakwo-20 ,000 Ordinary Shares.

“Uche Ahiakwo-10,000 Ordinary Shares

“It is worthy to note that before the shares of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited were increased, the previous shareholders enumerated in Paragraph 7 above had resigned.”

He demanded that the Cross River State Government explain the cloud surrendering Messrs Broad spectrum Industrial Services Limited.

But a Personal Assistant to the State Governor, Mr. Solomon Inok in a reaction to the allegations by Barrister Obla on a facebook thread called on him to stop spreading falsehood about Ayade’s projects.

Inok described Obla’s allegations as “Another callous statement and false alarm raised by our dear brother whose other name is everything but reliable. It is unimaginable that the only stock in trade of Barrister Obono Obla is to distort facts and constantly feed the public with misleading information about the activities of government.

“How can a man who calls himself a lawyer of over 20 years standing be so daft of the knowledge that a foreign company cannot operate in Nigeria unless it is registered as a company under the laws in Nigeria.

“Even though I am not a lawyer but I know where to find the law on this and I wish to refer Barrister Obono to S.54 of the Companies And Allied Matters Act LFN Cap 20 of 2004.

“It is laughable that all Barrister Obono can say about Le Harve Michael and Broad Spectrum was that the State deceived people into believing that they are foreigners.

“For the record, the said Le Harve Michael is alive and perhaps Barrister Obono will be bold to tell us the name of the village or State in Nigeria that this man is from. Or else he should hide his face in shame.

“The best Okoi Obono-Obla should do is present this fact to President Buhari. No need coming on Facebook to make empty noise. You are the right hand man to Buhari who is really not ready to spear anyone with a corrupt mind. Why not make this information quick to his table before you come here and sweat over your hand held device in the name of letting Cross Riverians or EFCC know.”

But another lawyer and former Cross River governorship candidate of the Labor Party, Barrister Imah Nsa Adegoke disagreed with Mr. Inok and cautioned the governor’s aide to maintain focus on the issue raised by Barrister Obla and provide answers rather than attacking his person.

According to Barrister Nsa, “A media team to any person in office will do well to refrain from attacking the persons from the issues. An attack on the person of another will always detract from the attacker and magnify the attacked.

“Obla brought out issues pertinent to the welfare of our State. If they are false, let us have the truth and let men of intellect look at both sides of the argument and make a decision one way or another.

“Inok Solomon telling us a foreigner needs Nigerians to register or do business in Nigeria is begging the issue. The clarification you need to give are in the following areas:

“1. How many shares does Le Havre own in the company?

“2. Is he a staff of or shareholder in a parent company outside Nigeria capable of having due diligence enquiries conducted on it to determine their ability to deliver on the PPP?

“3. As posited by Joseph Odok, explain the confidence the Government has in the company’s ability to raise this purported Euro funds. Has Le Havre either in his personal capacity or as staff or Director in such parent company IF ANY, raised even a fraction of such sums before now?

“4. What are the reasons for the recent increase in share capital after the many years of purported business operations with a capital not capable of raising any significant loan even from a Nigerian Bank without them demanding that the company’s worth be reflected in an increase of the liability of its Directors.

“You will agree that a June 2015 hike in share capital is most suspicious to meet the arrangement on this supposed deep sea partnership.

“5. Can the government furnish its critics with the antecedents of this partner it wishes to do business with so as to bolster confidence on its ability to deliver on this particular project?

“No one in their right mind commits to a novice a project of such magnitude without confirming experience and competence IN THE PARTICULAR FIELD. This is what we call SKILL.

“Such deception was responsible for undoing Rotimi Amaechi now Transport Minister in his Monorail Project in Port Harcourt.

“It is reported by credible sources that he was approached by two friends who claimed to have a foreign company willing to enter into a PPP to build the monorail and all the River State Government had to do was commit to a 25% Irrevocable Bank Guarantee and they would fund the rest through such ‘international’ loans.

“The dear governor placed his card on the table, provided his percentage funds and soon there were tales from the ‘foreign partners’.

“The whole loan thing turned out to be spurious. Not being one who likes to fail, the man had to dig into State funds budgeted for other things to continue with the project. He intended to finish it at all cost but soon he was faced with fighting for his survival and many projects suffered.

“Issue of this narrative is that Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was deceived with this same type of PPP Story. While River State had considerable funds to continue in the face of the discovered deception, Cross River State does not.

“The critics intend that Ayade does his homework properly and not get himself and the State into a silly burden he or us cannot bear.

“Criticisms are meant to make us ensure we know what we are doing or saying and Inok and your team will do well to return to you Master with the words of the men that have raised the issue and answer their queries dispassionately.”

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