House To Investigate Allegations Of Lopsidedness In FG's Contracts Award
ABUJA, October 18, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives today directed its committee on federal character to investigate allegations of lopsidedness in the award of contracts by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The committee is expected to report back in two weeks time.
The decision to probe into the contracts was the outcome of a motion sponsored by Hon. Karimi Sunday (PDP, Kogi). The motion was seconded by Hon. Abiola Solomon (ACN, Lagos).
The lawmaker in the motion drew the attention of the House to a publication in the Daily Trust newspaper of October 10, 2011, in which it was alleged that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) award of contracts was lopsided.
It said the federal government projects in which 86 percent representing N760 billion of the projects awarded to the South south zone and the North central got a zero percent allocation.
There was no objection to the motion and Speaker Waziri Aminu Tambuwal who presided over the session subsequently referred it to the federal character committee headed by Hon. Ahmed Idris to investigate.
While moving the motion, Hon. Sunday said he was disturbed that the action of the FEC as alleged by the story was in breach of section 14 (3) and 15 (5) of 1999 constitution as amended and 4 (d) (i) of the Federal Character Commission establishment Act.
He cited section 14 (23) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Federal Character Commission Act No. 34 of 1996, part 1 to buttress his points arguing that if the report is true, FEC is guilty of violating the provisions of the law.
Section 14 (23) states that “the composition of the government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty.”
Recall that the Daily Trust of October 10, 2011 had reported that documents published by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) showed that between March and August 2011, FEC awarded contracts worth N883 billion out of which N760 billion worth of contracts were sited in the Niger Delta leaving only N62 billion worth of contracts for the rest of the country. It further stated that the ministry of Niger Delta has 28 projects awarded at the cost of N408 billion.
The story also alleged that all the N333 billion contracts under the ministry of power are spread across the Niger Delta region while the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has ten percent contracts for infrastructural development in the oil region totaling N23.7 billion.
The same story indicated that the entire north minus FCT, has project worth only N16.4 billion; North west N15 billion, North east N1.4 billion and four projects worth N12 billion were approved for the South west within the same period whereas there is no project specifically located in any of the six states of the North central.