…Ten Contracts Awarded To A Single Individual With Different Companies
An audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation has uncovered how the Nigeria Police Force violated the Public Procurement Act of 2007 to award a contract worth N1.13bn for the procurement of security equipment.
The infractions were uncovered during an audit conducted on the financial activities of the institution.
Details of the infractions are contained in the Audit Report prepared by the OAuGF and submitted to the Public Account Committee of the National Assembly for further legislative action.
Section 16 (8) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 states that “Whenever it is established by a procuring entity or the Bureau that any or a combination of the situations set out exist, a bidder may have its bid or tender excluded from any particular procurement proceedings if the bidder fails to submit a statement regarding its dominating or subsidiary relationships with respect to other parties to the proceedings and persons acting on behalf of the procuring entity participating in same proceeding or whom remains in subordinate relationship with other participants to the proceedings.”
But findings by the Auditor-General’s Office revealed that 10 contracts totaling N1,136,715,200 were “awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies.”
The query stated that on the companies’ profiles, the contact phone numbers and email addresses of the three companies were the same.
The Report noted that the three companies did not disclose their relationship in accordance with the fundamental principles as required by extant regulations.
It stated, “Audit observed that 10 contracts totaling N1,136,715,200 were awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies In the companies’ profiles, the contact phone numbers and email addresses of the three companies were the same; and the three companies did not disclose their relationship in accordance with the fundamental principles of procurement as required by extant regulations.”
The Inspector-General of Police was requested to “furnish reasons why contracts were awarded to companies owned by same persons; account for the sum of 1,136,715,200; remit the sum of 1,136,715,200.00 to the Treasury; forward evidence of remittance to the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.”
It stated that if the directive is not complied with, the Federal Government should apply sanctions relating to irregular award of contract and punishment for contravening any of the offences in the Public Procurement Act.
The office also queried ‘Payment for Contracts Not Executed,’ saying it observed from an audit that the sum of N924,985,000 was paid for 11 contracts involving construction of three units of Gunshot Spotter System, supply of 50 units of Ballistic Roller Trolley and 20 units of Ballistic Mobile Surveillance House in some selected commands and formations.
“Final payments were made in March 2019 without evidence of execution. Documents such as End User Certificate, Store Receipt Voucher, Store Issue Voucher, Job Completion Certificate were not presented for audit examination, and the items claimed to have been constructed/supplied at the Force Headquarters, Federal Capital Territory Command, Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit and Police Mobile Force unit as specified in the award letters revealed that the contracts were not executed as at the time of physical verification of the purported items in June 2020,” the Report added.
The IGP was asked to “furnish reasons why payments were made for contracts not executed; recover the sum of 924,985,000 being payment for unexecuted contracts and remit same to the Treasury; forward evidence of remittance to the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.”
Other queries issued by the Auditor-General are unapproved settlement of 2017 liabilities from 2018 allocation (N38,731,491.30), misapplication of funds from overhead expenditure (N7,092,997), payment for contracts not executed (N613,580,000), and violation of approval threshold on procurement contracts (N500,335,000).