The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on (OSSAP-SDGs), in what appears a violation of the Public Procurement Act and Fiscal Responsibility Act, has been caught in the act of awarding a contract in a violation of extant laws regulating procurement processes in Nigeria.
Investigations by MAWA Foundation have uncovered how the OSSAP-SDGs awarded the installation of 200 units of Solar Street Light at Youth Centre, in Bwari Area Council of Abuja, the Nigerian capital city to E-Concept Technologies Limited at the sum of N139, 341,194.85 in disregard to the Public Procurement Act.
Having gotten the tip that the OSSAP-SDGs may have awarded the contract in disregard to the procurement rules, MAWA Foundation using the FOI, requested the agency to provide us with the following information:
(1) The report of procurement/tender bid leading to the selection of E-Concept Technologies Limited in a contract award for the installation of 200 units of Solar Street Light (Type B) at Bwari Youth Centre, FCT Abuja.
(2) Bank Statement of payments made to the E-Concept Technologies Limited regarding the project execution.
Requests the OSSAP-SDGs has since refused to respond, rather sent the contractor who got the contract to work towards getting MAWA Foundation to drop the report showing how it awarded the contract in breach of procurement laws.
Mr. MM Bagana, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of E-Concept Technologies Limited, speaking to MAWA Foundation, admitted that due process was not followed by the OSSAP-SDGs before his company was awarded the contract.
Mr. Bagana, who did not want the report to be made public, and his company indicted offered to give MAWA Foundation the sum of 2,000 Dollars bribe to kill the investigation, or in a worst-case scenario, water down the report and by ensuring his company name was not mentioned.
A bribe offer MAWA Foundation rejected.
When MAWA visited the project site at Bwari, it counted about 159 Solar Street Light Poles at the Youth Centre, while community residents said all of them are functional.
Mr. Rufai, a resident of the community who lives opposite the Youth Centre, told MAWA that the project was completed about five months ago.
Asked if the community residents were consulted regarding the contract award and selection of the contractor, Mr. Fufai said that was not done.
Another resident Mr. Musa Ibrahim, who said he is very close to the traditional ruler and has a good knowledge of what goes on in the community, told MAWA officials that no consultation regarding the project was done with the residents.
Mr. Issac Gabriel, one of the youth leaders who spoke to MAWA, argued that there is no point asking the community residents if they were consulted by the OSSAP-SDGs regarding the project, pointing out that virtually all communities in Nigeria including Abuja were not always consulted regarding contract award and project execution.
“I am surprised to see you ask community residents if they were consulted regarding the contract award and selection of a contractor, if you know the country very well, communities are not usually consulted, Bwari is not an exception, you know the practice, asking community members such question simply means looking for what does not exist,” Gabriel told MAWA.
Another community resident, Mr. Jonathan Danlami, who said he is one of the workers that undertook labourer jobs during the solar street light installation, told MAWA that they dug each of the holes for N300 an amount that shows the contractor may have made a huge gain from the deal.