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Umahi yet to explain N7.7 billion payout to unknown micro-finance bank against Procurement Act- BudgIT

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Nigeria's Minister of Works, Engineer David Umahi

 

Dave Umahi, minister of Works, is yet to explain why a humongous N7.7 billion (estimate) was paid out to FIMS Micro Finance Bank, for the construction of roads in the FCT, Abuja, Oyo, Ekiti, Benue and Kaduna, despite such activities being in flagrant disregard of procurement act, DDM has learnt.

The disclosure came from a review by BudgIT, a budget tracking and fiscal solution providing NGO in the country after its comprehensive review of the Ministry of Works spending between June and December of last year.

FIMS, according to DDM’s findings does not rank among the best five microfinance banks in the country.

“We request that the Honourable Minister of Works, David Umahi, tenders an explanation to Nigerians on how these repeated violations and infractions occurred in his office.

“In addition, we call on the Bureau of Public Procurement to review the transactions for violating the Public Procurement Act 2007 and serve appropriate sanctions for breaches where identified,” said BudglT’s Country Director, Gabriel Okeowo, speaking via a release on the matter.

According to the reports total of N7.728 billion were awarded in road contracts to FIMS

Giving further breakdown, N1.42bn was awarded for the construction of Yaba-Yangoje Road in the FCT; N1.22bn was awarded for the rehabilitation of 2km road from Oriawo-Boroboro-Oke- Medina School of Science Road, Atiba Oyo State.

Also, N1.24bn rehabilitation of Kosobo-Awe Junction, Oyo East, local government area; another N1.26bn rehabilitation of Ejule-Otukpo Road, Benue; N860.59m

was spent in construction of Okerete-Saki Road in Oyo state; N837.98m was paid for reconstruction of Gidan Waya-Garon Dutse-Wawan Rafi-Saminaka, Kano Express in Lere, Kaduna and total of N910.61million was spent in rehabilitation of Iluomoba-Ijesa; Isu-Ikole Road in Ekiti, State.

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FIMS, by its own mission statement, was incorporated on December 11, 2009, to conduct microfinance businesses/services with a certificate of incorporation number RC 858800.

“As a financial institution, the award of road construction contracts amongst others to this company is a violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007, said BudgIT country director.

He pointed to specifics of the laws in sections 16 (6) (a) (0, (i), and (iv) as stated. By its requirement, ‘all bidders in addition to requirements contained in any solicitation documents shall: (a) possess the necessary: () professional and technical qualifications to carry out particular procurements; (i) financial capability; (ii) equipment and other relevant infrastructure; iv) shall have adequate personnel to perform the obligations of the’, Okeowo cited copiously in his statement on the matter.

“We have submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) letter to the Minister, seeking the procurement documents related to these payments to assess whether the transactions complied with the law and anticipate a response within seven days,” he added.

Increasingly, ministers under President Bola Tinubu have been caught making unexplainable financial transaction against fiscal governance rules.

Betta Edu, minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is currently under suspension for transferring public funds to private accounts against laid down laws.

Even so, Tunji Ojo, Minister of Interior is under probe over similar infractions.

 

 


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