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Fashola, BPP in contracts inflation scandal

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The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Bureau of Public Procurement may be probed by the Senate over alleged inflation of costs of contracts executed.

The Ministry which is headed by Babatunde Fashola has been accused of conspiring with the BPP to change names of contractors to execute a project as well as the figures.

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Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye on Wednesday said, “I draw the attention of the Senate to some infractions and corruption between the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing and the Bureau of Public Procurement.

“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 for the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads and bridges under the 2016 budget in November 2016. The second batch is the award for 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 their (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 a 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 wrst was in compliance with what the ministry recommended, in the second letter, they completely changed the list of the contractors. Not that the contractors were just changed, figures also varied.

In the wrst 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 requested that the Senate allows him present the matter as a motion for detailed explanation.

“Nigerians are watching. And I am aware that Nigerians have now opened a ledger for the thieves in power, who are still in power. In a time like this, my expectation is that those stealing from government coffers should suspend stealing. We will keep exposing (them) and if they continue to be in power, one day, and very soon, Nigerians will start shouting until justice is done to public thieves. If I get the motion of the Senate, I will bring this as a substantive motion and the relevant committee will do its investigation,” Melaye said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki granted the request, stating that the motion will be heard on the next legislative day.

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