Tracka, BudgIT’s platform for monitoring service delivery, has alleged that the Minister of Works, David Umahi disbursed a total of N9.3 billion from the Federal Ministry of Works to FIMS Microfinance Bank Ltd, an apparent violation of the 2007 Public Procurement Act.
According to Tracka, the payment was made between June and December 2023 for 62 projects, including the construction of road projects across the country, amongst others.
Providing complete details of the transactions in its publication seen by Nairametrics, the projects include the payment of N1.4 billion construction of Yaba-Yangoje Road in the FCT, the payment of N1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of a 2km road from Oriawo-boroboro-oke-medina School of Science Road in Atiba, Oyo state as well the payment of N1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of Ejule-otukpo Road in Benue State, among others
The report claimed:
- “Some of these projects, as revealed on the Govspend platform, include the payment of N1.4 billion in September 2023 for the construction of Yaba-Yangoje road in the Federal Capital Territory; the payment of N1.2 billion in October 2023 for the rehabilitation of a 2km road from Oriawo-boroboro-oke-medina school of sci. road in Atiba, Oyo state; the payment of N1.2 billion in October 2023 for the rehabilitation of Kosoboawe junction road in Oyo East LGA in Oyo state; and the payment of N1.2 billion between August and November 2023 for the rehabilitation of Ejule-otukpo road in Benue State; to mention a few.”
Violation of the Public Procurement Acts
The 2007 public procurement Acts (as amended) specifically section 16 (6) (a) (i), (iii), and (iv) as they state that: All bidders in addition to requirements contained in any solicitation documents shall (a) possess the necessary: (i) professional and technical.
Qualifications to carry out particular procurements; (ii) financial capability; (iii) equipment and other relevant infrastructure; (iv) shall have adequate personnel to perform the obligations of the procurement contracts.
The disbursement, therefore, raises legality concerns, as FIMS Microfinance Bank Ltd is not recognized as an institution providing construction services within the country.
The report stated,
- “According to its mission statement and information on its website, FIMS Microfinance Bank Ltd. Was incorporated on December 11, 2009, to conduct microfinance businesses/services with a certificate of incorporation number RC 858800.
- “As a financial institution, the award of road construction contracts amongst others to this company is a violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007, specifically s.16 (6) (a) (i), (iii), and (iv) as they state that: All bidders in addition to qualifications to carry out particular procurements; (ii) financial capability; (iii) equipment and other relevant infrastructure; (iv) shall have adequate personnel to perform the obligations of the procurement contracts.”
- According to BudgIT, Umahi has been sent a request to respond to the accusation.
- The report also noted that they urged “Bureau of Public Procurement to review the transactions for violations of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and met out appropriate sanctions for breaches where identified.”
- Furthermore, the organization called on anti-graft agencies, namely the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate these payments thoroughly and prosecute any officers found guilty.
- “We call on the anti-graft agencies—the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC—to question and probe these payments and prosecute the erring officers,” the report added.