The Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) has descended on the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over the award of 10 road and bridge contracts worth N166 billion.
The BPP said the minister and his ministry violated the laws guiding contract awards in Nigeria in the manner they selected contractors for the projects.
The procurement agency is asking Fashola to explain, among other things, why the costs of some of the projects were inflated and why some were awarded to unqualified firms.
The construction of the roads and bridges, spread across the country, were appropriated for in the ministry’s 2016 budget.
The projects are the rehabilitation of Numan-Jalingo Road awarded to Deux Projects Ltd for N11.7 billion; replacement of substandard bridges along Gusau-Sokoto Road awarded to Triacta Nig. Ltd (N1.01 billion); construction of Ojutu Bridge in Ilobu, Osun State awarded to Halicass Integrated Ltd (N522.2 million); construction of Ohan-Moro Bridge on Ilorin-Igbeti Road awarded to Bonus Nig. Ltd (N942.6 million); and rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna Road awarded to CGC Nig. Ltd (N26.9 billion).
Others are rehabilitation of Kaduna-Zaria Road in Katsina State awarded to Arab Contractors Nig. Ltd for N14.8 billon; rehabilitation of Zaria-Kano Road in Kaduna/Kano State awarded to Reynold Construction Nig. Ltd (N69.9 billion); and the construction of Burga-Dull-Mbatill-TadnumGpbiya-Badagari-Gwaranga-Sum, Bauchi State awarded to Rahama Civil Works Nig. Ltd (N10.9 billion).
The construction of Tudun Wuss-Wandi-Wandi-Baraza-Durr-Zumbul-Polchi-Dot-Kwanar Road, Bauchi State awarded to Dalum Construction Nig. at N12.2 billion and the construction of Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambar-Sara-Kai-Gindiri Road in Plateau State awarded to Metropolitan Construction Company Limited at N15.3 billion are also among the contracts slated for award by the ministry.
In line with the requirement of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, Mr. Fashola’s ministry had, in a letter dated November 7, 2016, requested the Bureau to issue it Due Process Certificate of “No Objection” for the award of the 10 contracts.
The ministry had earlier in June advertised the projects in some national newspapers as well as the Federal Tenders Journal edition of Monday May 30- June 10, 2016.
An addendum to the advertisement was further placed in the same newspapers and Federal Tenders Journal of Monday June 13-Sunday June 26, 2016.
On July 25, 2016, the prequalification documents were opened in the Conference Room of the ministry in the presence of representatives of prospective contractors, non-governmental organisations, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and some member of the public as well as officials of the ministry.
In line with Part V, Clause 22, Section 4 of the Pubic Procurement Act (PPA) 2007, the Permanent Secretary/Chairman of the Ministerial Tenders Board constituted a Technical Evaluation Committee to evaluate the tenders received from prospective contractors.
The contractors successful in the technical evaluation exercise were “provisionally prequalified”, with their documents forwarded to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and banks for verification.
They were subsequently invited to submit completed financial tender documents.
The ministry then carried out a verification exercise on some of the claims made by bidders in their technical bids.
After the verification exercise, the ministry wrote to the BPP to request certificate of no objection for the recommended contractors.
However, the BPP objected to the award of the contracts citing various violations of the PPA Act.
The agency, in a report on the projects, said it would not grant the ministry due process certificate until its concerns were “adequately addressed”.
The report was signed by the Director General of the BPP, Mamman Ahmadu.