By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led administration in Kwara State was on Sunday involved a accusation of inflation of the contract for the renovation of the Banquet Hall and allegedly paying part of the contract sum into private account.
Documents indicting the state government on the issue which went viral on online at the weekend were cited by this medium detailing how the money was paid and inflated.
But this coming just as one of those mentioned in one on the report on issue by an online news medium, Insider, and Permanent Secretary of Government House, Mr Joel Asha neither confirmed nor denied his involvement when contacted on phone by National Pilot for his reaction to the story.
“I don’t have any comment. I don’t have any comment, no comment please, Asha repeated before he hang up the phone.
According to the documents, the government had on December 31, 2019, barely six months after coming to power, awarded the contract for the renovation and upgrade of Banquet Hall to Avalon Design Konsult via release letter Ref. No. F115/S.1./T/520.
It was observed that the contract sum was increased by at least 35%, fetching the contractors additional sum of thirty million naira.
In the payment voucher raised in December, 2019 when the contract was originally awarded, a sum of N80,276,085.70 was quoted as the total project cost, while the sum of N32, 110,034.28 was paid as mobilization fee.
“However, barely four months after the original contract award, another letter dated 20th April, 2020 with Ref. No. F115/S.1./T/720 instructed the payment of 32,112,040.00 for an undisclosed additional work on the project. The money was paid in May, 2020 even while the balance for the original sum was still outstanding.
“Meanwhile, on the 16th December, 2020, a payment voucher for the sum of ten million naira (N10,000,000.00) was raised for the purpose of providing electrical street lights and garden lamps to the external area of the same Banquet Hall whose renovation was ongoing. Curiously, the money, rather than going into the account of the contractors, was instead paid to the Permanent Secretary, Government House.
“Section 57 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 provides penal sanctions for splitting of tenders. Contract inflation, lack of transparency, abuse of procedure are other infractions that run foul of the Nigerian laws”, the report noted.