Shettima Stops Long Term Contracts With Indian Companies Says It Will amount to Trespass of Incoming Govt.

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima on Thursday told different chief executives of Indian manufacturers who are contractors to Borno state government that he will not award new contracts for any long term supplies that will extend his tenure of office which ends on May 29, 2019.

He alao noted that going into any long term agreement will amount to trapping and assuming the powers of the incoming Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.

Shettima who is currently on official trip in New Delhi, India, told the companies that he was mainly in India alongside his State Commissioner of Health, Dr Salisu Kwayabura for the purpose of meeting medical equipment manufacturers to negotiate discounts and take immediate delivery of hundreds of light weight diagnostic equipment needed as daily components of high technology medical equipment that have already been imported and being installed in 18 General Hospitals which have been overhauled, expanded and upgraded as well as the 7 newly built General Hospitals in different parts of Borno state.

Disclosing this in a statement emailed to journalists, the Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau who is part of the trip, said notwithstanding the Governor's main purpose in India, shettima created a day to host different company delegations who used diplomatic contacts and existing relationships to request audience.

Majority of the companies solicited for contract awards to make multi-sectoral supplies to the state government or carry out projects concerning education, agriculture, health care and vocational skills acquisition amongst others which most of them will take at least the next six months to take course.

The Governor met them at a meeting room in Leelah hotel located at the Diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri in New Delhi.

Governor shettima said: "To be frank with you all, I do not intend to award any contract or enter into any new agreement that will extend my remaining two months in office. I am leaving office insha'Allah on May 29, 2019.

" To me, entering a new contract knowing fully well that such contracts cannot be completed in the next two months will amount to disrespecting and perhaps even trapping the incoming Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum"

"He is my brother and friend but part of my resolution is that there can't be two captains in a ship. I will not trap him with any company. He has been part of most of my international trips.

" He is broad minded and has contacts, I will want him to make his own decisions because he is the one that will work with any supplier or contractor for anything I sign with any of you.

"It will be very unfair. I am sorry. I am mainly here to give executive orders when my commissioner of health who is consultant physician and a grounded administrator of hospitals, identifies light weight medical equipment that are the things we need.

"We have taken delivery of many high tech and bigger size medical equipment and we dealt directly with the manufacturers to negotiate good discounts for the state.

"These equipment are already installed and being put to use. However, there are many other light weight equipment for diagnosis that we need. The Commissioner knows them but because we need them urgently, I decided to come with him since he alone can't give executive orders.

"He would keep referring to me if I don't come and that will create delays. So, I will suggest that any company looking for new imports that will extend May 29 to get done, should please wait for the incoming Governor. I will not impose any contractor on him" Shettima said.

In one of the meetings with IL and FS education which developed and installed hundreds of customized digital teaching aides for basic schools in Borno State in addition to training Borno teachers in India, Shettima told the company's Vice President, Dr Milan Sharma that while he respected her for spending one week in Maiduguri around 2013 at the height of the Boko haram killings for the pilot installation of the K-Yan digital teaching aides, he would prefer her company await the coming of Professor Zulum to make his own decision on whether his administration would re-engage them for installation in more schools or not.

Sheittiam said: "The truth is that, I have the deepest respect for your company. You took risk to spend one week at that time in Maiduguri, you risked your life and the digital teaching aides are very efficient.

"The training you gave our teachers here in India was excellent. However, giving you any new contract for supplies will definitely extend my tenure for you to manufacture the equipment since we customize them to our syllabus.

"I really don't want to go into anything that will extend May 29. I have deep respect for the incoming Governor and I want to preserve that. I will not box him. He should make his own decision on whether he wants to continue with your company or work with a different one" Shettima said.

The Governor arrived New Delhi on Tuesday morning and was received at the airport by top officials of the Nigerian High Commission in India who facilitated his transport and helped to arrange his accommodation.

In his nearly eight years in office, Governor Shettima had for the purpose of transparency and protection from being defrauded, introduced and sustained the policy of involving Nigerian embassies abroad to be part of all transactions between the Borno State Government with companies in foreign countries. He is expected to return to Nigeria at the weekend.