FG Lost N90bn To NBET’s Breach Of Procurement Act – Reps
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the alleged breach of the Public Procurement Act by the management of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, leading to the loss of N90bn by the Federal Government.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by a member, Mr Muhammad Soba, at the plenary on Tuesday. The motion was titled, ‘Need for urgent investigation into allegations of gross statutory breaches including violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007 by the management of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.’
Adopting the motion unanimously, the lawmakers granted Soba’s prayer to mandate the house committees on public procurement and power “to jointly investigate the above allegations and report back to the House in two weeks.”
Moving the motion, Soba noted that the NBET was incorporated on July 29, 2010, as a Federal Government’s company responsible for managing and administering the electricity pool of the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
He added that the NBET was required under Section 15(1)(a) and (b) of the Public Procurement Act to comply fully with the Act in all its activities.
But Soba noted that, “Contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the extant guidelines and regulations from the Bureau of Public Procurement, the management of the NBET executed power purchase agreements and initiated the performance and implementation of its terms in total disregard to due process, which resulted in losses to the Federal Government worth over N90bn.
“Contrary to the provisions of the Act, the NBET engages consultants in breach of the Act and extant guidelines, rules, circulars and other subsidiary legislation. One of the many examples is the engagement of Messrs AELEX and Azinge & Azinge (Law Firms), despite the fact that they lacked basic bidding documents, the least responsive bidder was not awarded the contract and the required authorisation from the Attorney-General of the Federation was not obtained prior to the engagement of these law firms.
“Most contractors and vendors engaged by the NBET are not registered with the Bureau of Public Procurement, neither are they registered on the National Database of Federal Contractors, Consultants and Service Providers, which is a gross violation of the provisions of the Act.”
The lawmaker further said the management of the NBET had been accused of awarding contracts arbitrarily and not to the lowest evaluated responsive bidder as required by Section 16(17) of the Public Procurement Act, “resulting in losses worth billions of naira.”
He added, “If urgent steps are not taken to investigate these allegations and address any proven infractions, an institutional system of manipulation of the procurement process would have been created and an awkward situation would have been created, which will lead to further financial losses to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”