Nigeria’s National Assembly led by Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara paid out N5, 638, 664, 700 to 44 unqualified contractors, PREMIUM TIMES and UDEME can authoritatively report today.
The payment was made from the controversial N10billion cash illegally passed to the federal legislature by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
To take possession of the N10billion cash, most of which was spent on exotic cars, the National Assembly submitted a list of 82 contractors which it claimed it was owing and the amount due to each contractor. It was based on that single document that the cash management office at the finance ministry approved the funds.
Multiple checks by PREMIUM TIMES however revealed that 44 of the companies to which the contracts were awarded and paid are not on the database of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
Surprisingly, 17 of these 44 companies are not even registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) which makes them ineligible for federal jobs.
THE INFAMOUS LIST
To be eligible to handle contracts for the Nigerian government, prospective bidders are usually requested to provide evidence of registration on the database of Federal Contractors, Consultants and Service Providers by submitting Interim Registration Report or valid certificate issued by the BPP.
In fact, on December 11, 2014, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, wrote to ministries, departments and agencies informing them of a presidential directive “that any Federal contractor, consultants or service provider that is not registered with the National Database of Federal Contractor, Consultants and service provider domiciled at the Bureau of Public Procurement will no longer be allow to do business with the Government.”
The circular, which was also sent to the clerk of the National Assembly, added, “This is to facilitates the maintenance of a National Database of the particulars, classification and categorization of Federal Contractors, consultants and service providers as required by the provision section 5(h) and 6(1) (f) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”
But multiple checks by this medium between April 15 and 23, 2018, show that of the companies the National Assembly awarded contracts to, 44 of them are not on the database of BPP, in what is a clear violation of the procurement law.
Companies not on the BPP database include: Mushin Motors, Assamad Procurement and Services Limited, Kaffe International Investment Limited, Quantita Services Nigeria Limited, Dua Creations Limited, Lachoso Engineering Systems Nigeria Limited, Navadee Integrated Nigeria Limited, Starcraft Integrated Limited, Wadatu Global Company Limited, Bimfirst Multiventures Limited, Pimpex Engineering and Construction Company Limited, Three Brothers Concept Nigeria Limited, Braimuh Nigeria Limited, Unified Marketing Limited, H and H Inter-Biz Services, Nsa-Nsa Communication and O.B. Global Intertech Limited.
Also not on the database are: A.A. Marmaro Nigeria Limited, Nwezei Merchandised Limited, Jaaniyat Inter Concept Limited, Popona Star Nigeria Limited, Yujam Nigeria Limited, D.C. Okika Nigeria, Paki International Motors Limited, Afric Capital Nigeria Limited, Liberty Synergy and General enterprises, Pranav Contracting Nigeria Limited, Dee Ex Associate Limited, Shazamzam Construction Limited, Omatie Global, Bilmos Nigeria Limited, Clario View Nigeria Limited, Esyad Nigeria Limited, Omaiauto Limited and Profile Project Nigeria Limited
Others are; Chancellors Court Limited, M/S Atlantic Authos Limited, Bestline Nigeria Limited, Geoafriqcom Sourcing and Services Limited, DCN Nigeria Limited, Emerging Giant, GSES Nigeria Limited, Saramin International Ventures Limited.
Apart from not being on the BPP database, 17 of these companies are not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Established in 1990, the CAC regulates the formation and management of companies administering the Company Allied Matters Act, including the regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, management and winding up of companies.
Companies not on BPP database and not registered with the CAC are: Mushin Motors, Dua Creations, Starcraft Integrated Limited, Wadatu Global Company Limited, Pimpex Engineering and Construction Company Limited, H and H Inter-Biz Services, Nwezei Merchandised Limited, Jaaniyat Inter Concept Limited, and Bilmos Nigeria Limited
Others are; Clario View Nigeria Limited, Esyad Nigeria Limited, Omaiauto Limited, Chancellors Court Limited, M/S Atlantic Authos Limited, Geoafriqcom Sourcing and Services Limited and GSES Nigeria Limited.
A JAILABLE OFFENCE
By allowing unqualified firms to get government jobs, the leadership of the National Assembly (the Senate President, Speaker of the House, Clerk of the National Assembly and other officials) appears to have violated sections of the Public Procurement Act 2004, especially for colluding with the unqualified firms to defraud government
“Collusion shall be presumed from a set of acts from which it can be assumed that there was an understanding, implicit, formal or informal, overt or covert under which each person involved reasonably expected that the other would adopt a particular course of action which would interfere with the faithful and proper application of the provisions of this Act,” Section 9 of the Act said.
If found guilty, the officials are liable to “a cumulative punishment of : (a) a term of imprisonment of not less than five calendar years without any option of fine ; and (b) summary dismissal from government services.”
The affected companies, on conviction, will also be liable to “a cumulative penalty of : (a) debarment from all public procurements for a period not less than five calendar years ; and (b) a fine equivalent to 25 per cent of the value of the procurement in issue.”
Every director of the companies as listed on their records at the Corporate Affairs Commission shall also be liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not less than three calendar years but not exceeding five calendar years without an option of fine, the law said.
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY KEEPS MUM
PREMIUM TIMES made attempts to get the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to respond to our findings. But his aides said he was was not available the two times this reporter visited his office on Thursday.
He had through an adviser to Mr. Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, given the reporter an appointment for an interview, which he failed to keep.
He did not also reply multiply calls and text messages sent to his telephone.
Commenting on the development, the Head of Media at the BPP, Segun Imohiesen, said all companies that want to execute federal government projects must be on the agency’s database.
“Any company that wants to do business with the federal government must be registered on our platform,” he said.
Hamzat Lawal, the chief executive at the advocacy group, Connected Development (CODE), blamed the situation on abuse of power by lawmakers.
“This shows that there is abuse of power, this is from the top and this shows the kind of leadership we have in Nigeria today where people can leverage on immunity to abuse the position of law,” Mr. Lawal said.
“To them, they will say, we have taken this money, spent it, Nigerians do your worst. Take us to court.
He called for immediate probe of the allegations by anti-graft agencies.
“This is a call to action for anti-corruption agencies. We have the EFCC and ICPC, they shouldn’t fold their arms and watch these selfish lawmakers lick us dry. They should rise up and do their job.
“This is also for citizens to know the kinds of people they elect to public office. If we can’t hold people accountable, why should they represent our collective interest?
“President Buhari has a role to play here, why will his Finance Minster release money that is not appropriated? As the chief financial officer of Nigeria, we are looking forward and we hold him in high esteem. He should probe and if she’s found wanton, she should be fired. CSOs should lead a protest on this, they should ensure there is an independent investigation on this.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kamawalay (Global Nigeria Limited) was wrongly spelt as Kamwalay in the document the National Assembly submitted to the Ministry of Finance. The wrong spelling of the company’s name created the impression that it was not listed in BPP and CAC databases. We have since realised that is not the case. It has been removed from the list.