No more approvals for indiscriminate contract variations, augmentation - Jonathan warns ministers

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday ordered his ministers that from now on they should desist from making indiscriminate requests for augmentation or variation of the cost of projects.

He said in a situation where augmentation became unavoidable, such cost variation should not exceed 15 per cent of the original cost of the projects.

The President gave the directive during the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The ministers of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed, briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting.

Maku said the President expressed displeasure over situations where the variations being sought by ministers were more than the original costs of the affected projects.

He said Jonathan was of the view that if officials in Ministries, Departments and Agencies did their job well, there would not be any need for variation requests.

The President directed that henceforth, the MDAs must ensure the proper verification of the actual workloads so that the culture of variation would not continue.

He also directed the Bureau of Public Procurement to stop entertaining requests for augmentation of contract sums.

Maku said, 'Mr. President gave a directive to all members of council to henceforth not bring any augmentation to council that is beyond 15 per cent of the original cost of the projects.

'The President frowned on a situation in which sometimes augmentation or variations of contracts end up being higher than the original contracts awarded.

'Mr. President believes that if MDAs do their jobs thoroughly through proper planning, and of course, cost evaluation before award, the incidence of half valuation of contracts will be avoided; and so, he gave a directive that henceforth, any MDA that has any variation on a contract that goes beyond 15 per cent should not present it to council unless that variation has the President's personal approval.

'He also directed the BPP not to entertain any application for valuation of contracts that exceed 15 per cent of the original cost, and he also insisted that ministers and agencies of government must ensure that in giving awards of contract, we verify the actual workload that is expected, that we ensure proper valuation of our projects so that we will not continue with this pattern of variation of contracts that sometimes go so high as 100 per cent of the original contract awarded.

'So, it is expected that all agencies of government, which are in the process of giving awards for contracts, must make sure that they are thorough in the pre-plan stage for those projects and also ensure that the costing is professional to avoid variations that go very high and leave the cost to the government.'