The House has mandated its committee on Power and Public Procurement to investigate alleged fraudulent award of contracts amounting to N42 Billion on Rural Electrification Schemes in some Federal Universities.
The resolution is sponsored by Hon. Darlington Nwokocha from Abia State; the House adopted the motion to an alleged contract inflation amounting to N42 billion in the Ministry of Power, Works and House.
Sponsored by Hon. Darlington Nwokocha representing Isiala Ngwa North and Isiala Ngwa South Federal Constituency of Abia State, the motion “Call to investigate the Fraudulent Award of Contracts Amounting to N42 Billion on Rural Electrification Schemes in some Federal Universities” sought to probe the award of contracts for rural electrification programme in 8 federal universities which was a pilot scheme designed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
He submitted that the projects which were initially approved at N9.5 billion in the 2017 Appropriation Act were later awarded at the total cost of N42 billion, saying it was in the violation of the Public Procurement Act.
He said: “The House notes that the Rural Electrification Access Program in the Federal Universities is a pilot scheme designed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to electrify 8 federal universities in the first instance and later replicate same across the remaining universities.
“Also note that the sum of N9, 500,000,00 was appropriated for the projects in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
“Aware that the projects, which were supposed to be spread across the 4ix geopolitical zones of the country were not evenly distributed but mainly concentrated in some zones to the disadvantage of the others which is against the principle of federal character enshrined in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“Aware that the projects which were initially approved at N9.5 billion in the Appropriation Act were later awarded at the total cost of N42 billion in violation of the Public Procurement Act.
“Concerned that the contracts were selectively awarded to two contracting companies that do not have any records of achievements in the fields which is tantamount to further violation of the Public Procurement Act;”
The House of Representative adopted the motion through a voice vote and called on the federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to stop forthwith further procurement process on the project, pending the outcome of investigation.
The committee on Power and Public Procurement has 3 weeks to investigate the allegations and report back to the House for further legislative action.