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Federal Capital Territory Contract Compromised

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, has been asked to immediately cancel the bidding for the procurement process and tender involving the provision of waste collection, computers and vehicles for Nigeria’s capital city.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) said the bid which was advertised in Nigerian dailies has compromised the integrity of the country by undermining the directive principle of the federal government which lays emphasis on the need for government agencies to patronise locally made goods, equipment and services. Copies of the petition were sent to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The petition was signed by HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju.

On July 1 this year, the FCT had advertised bidding for the procurement of waste collection and management at the various delineated districts in the FCT at the instance of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board under the 2017 financial year.

In the same vein, the Board also issued invitation to tender in respect of projects for some of the SDAs under the Federal Capital Administration (FCTA) tied to the 2018 statutory budget.

According to HEDA, the Invitation to Tender invited competent and interested companies to submit Technical and Financial bids for 2 categories of projects.

The first was Project A under the Abuja Environmental Protection Board which had 47 lots numbered from NC7. AEPB 1 – NC7.AEPB 47 while Project B under the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council had 3 lots numbered from NC7. BAMMC 1 – NC7. BAMMC 3.

Upon presentation of evidence of payment of non-refundable tender fee of N10,000 for the respective projects of interest, bidding companies were to collect Tender documents for the procurement.

HEDA said a detailed scrutiny of the tender documents for each of the 47 lots in Project A under the Abuja Environmental Protection Board indicated that the project is for Solid Waste Collection and Management Services for three years’ period and contains instructions to tenderers as well as general conditions of the contract and contract sums for each lot.

The group said embedded within the tender documents is the supply of different types of operational vehicles, one vehicle per lot. Some of the vehicles expected to be supplied at the commencement of the contract when awarded include Toyota Yaris, Toyota Hilux, and Toyota Camry. Also imbedded in the Tender documents are HP computers, laptops, printers and other office equipment of different specifications.

Suraju said the procurement process was a complete breach of the public Procurement processes and that it was contrary to the Public Procurement Act of 2007 and other extant procurement laws and policies of the Federal Government.

Making reference to a circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with Ref. No. SGF.6/S.12/C.2/11/788 dated the 17July 2012, HEDA said guidelines were issued for the purchase of locally assembled computers to all Federal institutions and agencies in accordance with the National Information Development Agency Act of 2007, a directive which the FCT has trampled underfoot.

HEDA said that Section 2(e) of the Circular provides for Requirements during Procurement Process all of which have been violated by the FCT.

The stated guidelines are that

(i)            prior to tender, obtain the technical advice of NITDA (to be given not later than 15 days from date of the request) on the configuration of the information systems suitable for the purpose intended.

(ii)          Incorporate the specifications and configurations advised by NITDA in their bid and tender documents.

(iii)         Without naming the brands of the products, include in the invitation to tender such statements which indicate that the items for bidding shall be locally manufactured or assembled brands.

HEDA stated that the invitation to tender was in complete departure from the circular, deliberately issued to promote local products, boost the economy, create employment and strengthen the Naira.

HEDA added that in accordance with a Circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with Ref. No. SGF.OP/I/S.3/VIII/250 dated 12thof April, 2011, all MDAs were directed by the President to patronize only vehicles made in Nigeria by the local Assembly plants.

However, where vehicles required are not available from the local assembly plants at the time of need, necessary clearance must be obtained from Mr. President through the Office of the SGF before other alternative brands are procured.

“Form the above relayed, it is clear from the tender process and documents obtained from FCTA, the provisions of the Circulars referred for the Provisions of the National Information Development Agency Act of 2007 and circular from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation were not complied with,” HEDA stated.

The group urged the FCT to cancel the bidding with immediate effect warning that it may be compelled to institute legal actions or ensure the relevant anti-corruption agencies initiate a probe panel to unravel the illegitimate incidence.

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