Controversy trails Ibadan ICD project As conflicting cost, bid participation causes confusion
The Oyo State 90 hectares of land acquired for the Ibadan Inland Container Deport, has attracted a lone bidder at the close of its pre-qualification exercise, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has disclosed.
Above development has begun to generate controversy, raising doubt about the standard operating procedure of the bid process, as well as the viability of the project.
However, top on the controversy is the apparent conflicts in the cost of the project, given official double speak on the matter following different financial outlays that have so far been deposed to.
Commenting on the bid exercise, Barrister Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, promoter of the project has explained that even though a sole candidate qualified in the bid exercise, it was not a guarantee that the bidder has won the project bid. He further explained that the bid may be subjected to further evaluation process by the Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) before the sole bidder can be adjudged winner.
This is even as the Council boss explained that although an additional single bid came in after the official due date for the bid process, the late bid could not be entertained. He also reportedly declined to divulge the amount quoted for the qualified lone bid.
In May, last month, during the formal exchange of letters of handover of the 90 hectares of land acquired and donated for the establishment of the project between Oyo State Government which acquired the land and the Federal Government, Bello put the estimated cost of the project at USD99, 655, 626.
The ceremony which held at the State House, Agodi Ibadan, had members of the state cabinet fully on ground, with top management staff members of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, and the then Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
Their host and then outgoing Oyo State Executive Governor, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi while handing over the letter to the Council, said his administration believe that the project located at Olorisa Oke area of the state capital will turn around the economic fortune of the state; and expressed gratitude to the federal government for choosing the state as one of the inland dry ports scheme.
Nonetheless, Bello had in 2018, during a courtesy call on the former governor reportedly said the 20,000tons capacity ICD would be developed in three phases, at a total cost of $134million, assuring that the project would create 3000 direct jobs upon completion.
The Council boss who was accompanied on that maiden visit by representatives of the ICRC and those of China–Africa Construction Limited (CACL), used the occasion to present the Outline Business Case Compliance Certificate (OBC) of the project to the former state governor.
Bello had during that initial visit said all commercial and financial requirements for the proposed Inland dry port project in Ibadan will end on or before August, 2017. He added that the procurement process of the project had already commenced and that request for qualification had been advertised and bids opened and evaluated.
At the recent visit, he also said the next stage of the project would be the issuance of Request For Proposal (RFP) to be followed by negotiations which will be conducted by the Transaction Adviser; noting that the facility when fully operational will enhance the nation’s additional cargo handling and processing capacity by 40,000 TEUs per annum.