BPP Stalls Reps Investigation Of NTA's N8.9B OBV Contract

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com

Abuja, July 28, (THEWILL) - Investigations into the controversial Nigerian Television Authority’s (NTA) N8.9 billion contract for the upgrade of Outside Broadcast Vans (OBVs) for the FIFA Under -17 world cup held in Nigeria October 2009 by the House of Representatives has been stalled by the failure of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) failed to show up for the exercise.

The contract for the upgrade of the OBVs was awarded in July 2009 to Messrs WTS broadcast and was meant to have been concluded before the sporting event started.

But close to a year after, the contract is yet to see the light of day and the investigation was to find out what really went wrong with the contract.

From the presentation of the NTA DG, it was gathered that the BPP did the advertisement and selection of the contractor, while NTA was only informed of the decision after it had been presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

According to Magawatta, the contract stipulates that the contractor shall be given 15% of the contract sum as mobilisation fee and then the balance (85%) would be paid quarterly over a 24 month period, after NTA must have test run the equipment for a period of three months.

He added that the NTA had expressed its reservations about the choice of Well Trade Services, WTS, as the contractor, mainly because they are not manufacturers of broadcast equipment but had to succumb when they received a presidential order referred it to the due process office.

Other parties to the contract who failed to appear for the hearing are First Bank PLC and First City Monument Bank, FCMB while those present were the Debt Management Office, DMO, the management of WTS, and top management team of the NTA.

Chairman of the House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Hon Aliyu Wadada said while welcoming the stakeholders who were present that the hearing was aimed at forestalling a future occurrence and ensuring that responsibilities were discharged accordingly.

He explained that "After due consultations with the stakeholders, the committee deemed it necessary to hold this investigation, it is in the interest of discharging our responsibility as a legislature."

However, when the Director General of NTA, Alhaji Usman Magawatta, finished his presentation, Wadada announced that it would be better to conduct the hearing on a day that all parties are present so that they would be able to state their roles in the contract.

Although he did not mention any date for the reconvening of the hearing, the chairman said that the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, being a crucial party in the contract, has to be present to explain certain aspects of the contract.

When the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, met with the committee earlier in the year to defend the ministry’s budget, she exonerated herself from any involvement in the contract and urged the committee to go ahead with their investigation.