An Abuja based civil society organisation- Collective Action Against Corruption-has raised the alarm over plot by the ministry of works to shortchange some contractors awarded road construction jobs by replacing the names of their companies with different ones without plausible reasons.
It was gathered that the ministry had awarded contracts each for some road construction to some indigenous company after the ministerial tenders’ board had duly certified the contracts and all the necessary processes including payment of remita and certification by the BPP but the ministry is planning to change the name of the companies.
The CSO said information at its disposal showed that the ministry had concluded plans to change name of the companies awarded the multi-billion-naira contracts in different parts of the country to preferred companies some of which have ties with some vested interests. They insisted the action runs contrary to the provision of the procurement act and urged the ministry to read the act.
“Documents at our disposal showed that after letters of award had been issued with all the processes required by law completed, with a no objection certification from the Bureau of Public Procurement, the ministry is set to change the names of companies already awarded the contracts”
The CSO described the move as unfair, unfortunate and runs contrary to the clamour for a level playing field in conduct of government business even as it questions the rationale for the action and wondered why the previous companies were not told right from the bidding process if indeed, they lack the requisite skills to deliver the job.
While urging the ministry to urgently reverse the planned name change, the CSO harped on the need for transparency in the conduct of government activities.
It appealed to the president to urgently intervene and halt what it described as sheer deliberate attempt to contravene rules and procedure in the conduct of government activities assuring that should the ministry proceed with the change; it would be compelled to seek legal redress.
When contacted the newly posted Permanent Secretary said he was not aware and referred reporter to seek clarification from the minister even though findings showed that that the permanent secretary was the signatory to letter for change of companies to the BPP. The minister could not be reached as at press time