JThe House of Representatives on Wednesday asked its Navy Committee to investigate the legality of the $195,300,000 (N59,839,930,000 equivalent) contract awarded to a foreign private company, HLS International Limited (HLSI), to the supply of certain security and surveillance equipment and systems.
The Chamber asked the committee to verify whether the awarding of the contract complied with the laws and regulations in force.
He asked the committee to determine the actual amount spent by the government on the Deep Blue contract and any other matters relating to the contact and to report back within eight weeks for further legislation.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Benjamin Okezie Kalu which recalled that on July 27, 2017, the Department of Transportation, on behalf of the federal government, entered into the contract.
He said it was worrying that the N59,839,930,000 payment to the company to secure and monitor the country’s waterways was “astronomically higher than the annual capital expenditure budget of the Nigerian Navy which was 27.2 billion naira in 2019, 20 billion naira in 2020, 26 billion naira. in 2021 and approved the N27 billion proposal in 2022.”
He said that in addition to the contract amount of $195,300,000, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has agreed to pay $19,530,000 to HLSI in return for management training.
Kalu said the National Assembly had not authorized or appropriated funds for the contract or monthly expenses in accordance with the previous payment schedule, hence the need for an investigation.