With no end in sight to the reckless and monumental heist of public fund in the country, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs Lagos, like their counterparts in other MDAs may have resorted to manipulating procurement processes to their advantage by inserting questionable figures for services rendered to its facility.
Findings showed that in February 2018, a contract sum of N2,764,125 (Two Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Five) Naira was awarded to Adeola A&A&A Global Concept Nig Ltd for the “Servicing of Package Unit Air Conditioner” at the institute.
A separate N367,500 (Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred) Naira was also awarded to the same company for the Servicing of Split Air Conditioner.
Currently sold between N120,000-140,000 for most popular brands, Experts in retail and serving of air conditioner units when contacted opined that it was unlikely that such amount could be used to service a unit, let alone repairing a damaged one, implying a possible fraud by the NIIA.
Despite the current look of the institute which largely can be attributed to its recent painting, a rather bizarre sum of N1,545,742.62 was also awarded to Yusab Cost Consultants for the Architectural Drawing for the Rehabilitation of the Institute’s Printing Press.
The design of a web portal, a now-familiar item in the procurement data of most MDAs as they are either creating a new one or running maintenance on the old all in an acclaimed bid of migrating to the digital era also got its share as N4,900,000 (Four Million, Nine Hundred Thousand) was awarded to Awacom Services Ltd in 2019 to provide the institute with a web application that will enable it to operate an e-payment and hall booking system.
The institute’s website, however, had no rocket engineering as expected from the contract sum, rather a minimalistic interface that could easily pass for an elementary project was seen when trying to book one of the two displayed halls.
Little wonder why the age long leadership tussle in the Institute established in 1961 as Nigeria’s foremost think-tank on foreign affairs and a centre of excellence for the scientific study of international relation as the NIIA under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may in reality by a cash cow through which few persons enrich their pockets by way of over-bloated contract awards since the fight against corruption has since been given the back seat in the present administration to the disappointment of most Nigerians.
Calls placed to the institute from our newsroom proved abortive as the number seen on the contact page of their website was not reachable.