Nidco warns of bogus claim: No tender out for Toco Port

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, fishing boats are moored at the site of the proposed Toco Port. – ROGER JACOB

NIDCO said it has not begun any tender process to build a Toco port, even as the company also warned against the issuance of bogus cheques, in a statement on Friday.

To do its job of procurement on behalf of the Government, Nidco said it issues tenders via its website and national newspapers, ensuring its procurement was transparent, efficient and effective.

“Nidco has not initiated any tender or award of contract process with regard to the Toco Port. As such, the issuance of any letters of award or contracts relating to the Toco Port project is fraudulent and not authorised by Nidco.” Contracts for Nidco projects must be only signed in-person at Nidco’s offices, under a Nidco legal officer, the company said.

“The signing of any contract outside of Nidco’s offices is fraudulent and not authorised by Nidco.”

Nidco said its cheques can only be collected at their offices through an official from Nidco’s finance department.

“The collection of cheques outside of Nidco’s offices by a rogue agent is fraudulent and not authorised by Nidco.”

The statement said the Ministry of Works and Transport does not issue cheques directly to contractors on Nidco’s behalf, and any occurrence of such is fraudulent and not authorised by Nidco nor the Ministry. “Nidco has not authorised any employee or agent to issue any cash or cheque payment in contravention of the above.

“With respect to the Toco Port project and any other such project, the public will be informed by the issuance of a public tender published both on Nidco’s website and in the daily newspapers.

“We hold ourselves accountable for our obligations and actions to the public we serve and are committed to manage our operations with openness and integrity.”

The proposed Toco Port was a major promise by the PNM in the 2015 general election, to help link Trinidad to Tobago. However, plans were delayed by the covid19 pandemic, although reports are that the Valencia to Toco Road upgrade was now 69 per cent complete. The 12-kilometre road was projected to cost $196 million.