Senate to probe Fashola, BPP over alleged contract inflation

Senate to probe Fashola, BPP over alleged contract inflation
January 26 12:54 2017

The Senate may probe the Minister of Power, Works and Housing,  Babatunde Fashola and the management of Bureau of Public Procurement over alleged inflation of the costs of some contracts.

Senator Dino Melaye, who raised a point of order during the plenary on Wednesday, alleged that the BPP changed the contractors and costs of some projects applied for by the ministry I questionable circumstances.

“The BPP got a letter from the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing for the award of two batches of contracts. The first is the award of the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads and bridges under the 2016 budget in November, 2016. The second batch is the award of the construction of bridges and roads – 13 of them – in the 2016 budget.

“The ministry sent a letter to the BPP, asking that 10 companies, who had undergone its (the ministry’s) internal due process and technical qualification, be issued Certificate of No Objection for the award of the contracts.

“The BPP, after its diligence, wrote its first report, giving the ministry the nod. But somehow, a second letter came from the BPP, indicating ‘Revised Due Process Review.’ This is now a review of the first one.

“What caught my attention is that while the first was in compliance with what the ministry recommended, in the second letter, they (BPP) completely changed the list of the contractors.

“Not that the contractors were just changed, figures also varied. In the first batch of 10, a contract was given to new contractors, who were not assessed by the ministry. After awarding the contract to them, the initial contract awarded for the Muman-Jalingo Road in Adamawa State, was given to a new contractor at N12.8bn as against N11bn that was recommended by the ministry.

“Another contractor was also given a new contract against the recommendation of N10bn; the contract was now awarded at N14bn,” Melaye said.

The senator, who represents Kogi West asked that he be allowed to present the matter as a motion to allow a detailed presentation and debate.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, however, said since Melaye came under Order 42 “by our rules, we will need the leave of this Senate, so that the matter can be brought as a motion.”

The lawmakers granted the leave and Saraki proclaimed that the motion be moved on Thursday.