The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has reacted to a report by Dataphyte, a data mining platform, and republished by PREMIUM TIMES on the procurement of 500ml hand sanitisers at N5,600 per unit at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report said the procurement of hand sanitizers in a deal worth ₦5.6 million was inflated.
The agency reacted to the story through a statement by its spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, on Tuesday, saying the sanitizers were bought in line with the prevailing market price at the time and in compliance with with the country’s public procurement law.
Mr Kazeem said the safety corps is “a transparent, prudent and responsible organisation that aligns completely with the anti-corruption stance of the President Muhammad Buhari administration. We like to emphasize that the corps observes due diligence in all its procurement activities.”
He said the FRSC procured the sanitizers “in strict adherence to the provisions of the Procurement Act 2007 specifically Section 42-1b which deals with emergency procurement.
“The contract was also based on the circular released by the Bureau of Public Procurement on COVID-19 purchases. The said procurement was awarded in March 2020 which was a period of unprecedented rise in prices of personal protective equipment as a result of increase in demands for such products, especially sanitizers.
“The Corps ensured that the company that was awarded the contract met all the legal bidding requirements for the job while the prevailing market price of the product at the time was adequately put into consideration among other relevant legal factors.
“Given the foregoing, the Corps takes exception to reports of irregularities against it as the initial period of the novel coronavirus hit the nation hard, while the need to protect the lives of staff became a matter not only of priority but of utmost necessity irrespective of the unprecedented rise in prices of the products at the time.”