By Jimoh Sulyman
The Kwara state government led by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been accused of corruption over its violation of contract law by the popular anti corruption Civil Society organisation, the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD).
The group in a statement issued and signed by its publicity secretary, Saeed Tijjani on Sunday accused the state government of violation and shadiness in the award of procurement of 35 nos BelTransfo Transformer awarded to a firm, the Best International Energy Services Ltd.
The government was said to have violated the Kwara State Public Procurement Law 2018 after its failure to Open Competitive Bidding for the contract which has monetary value above ₦50,000,000 as stated by the law.
“The KWSG neither advertised the said transformer contract nor subjected it to any Open Competitive Bidding prescribed by the Law, but only handpicked the Best International Energy Services Ltd without following due process under the Law,” ENetSuD said.
ENetSuD also faulted the AbdulRahman led administration for its payment of 70% of the contract sum as advance payment without mandating the contractor to meet up with the criteria as prescribed by the law.
“The payment of 70% contract sum as advance payment to mobilise the contractor is contrary to the clear and unambiguous provisions of section 62 of the Law. The section states that advance payment of a National Competitive Bidding [even though the contract was not competitive whatsoever] is subject to an unconditional bank guarantee or insurance bond issued by a reputable bank or institution acceptable to the Tender Board of the Ministry or other forms of security which the Board considers sufficient to guarantee performance.
“The spirit of the Law is to ensure that a contractor brings a Bank guarantee or insurance bond before any advance payment as mobilization fee is made to any contractor by the KWSG.
“However, the KWSG paid a mobilization fee of 70% (₦138,258,750) to the contractor on 28th May, 2021 without any bank guarantee or insurance bond, contrary to the strict provision of the Law.” The statement reads in part.
ENetSuD however urged the state government to abide by its laws and set a good example for citizens to also be law-abiding.
It added that the government needs to ensure that all subsequent contracts must be awarded in full compliance with the law,stressing that, “violation of procurement law is corruption that is punishable under the Law.”