Akwa Ibom state, one of the oil-rich states, located in South-South part of Nigeria, has been hoodwinked by the Ministry of Education to the Sum of N152, 000,001, through contract fraud.
The Ministry of Education under the leadership of Idongesit Etiebiet, who is the Commissioner of Education, Awarded contracts to four unregistered companies.
Secret Reporters investigation on the procurement process of the Governor Emmanuel Udom led government found out that the Ministry of Education awarded contracts to:
“EP & Sons Installations”, a contract worth, N38,000,000, for the Construction Of 800m Perimeter Fence/Gatehouse @ Primary School, Mbiokporo Nsit, Nsit Ibom. The contract duration lasted for 8 months and was completed on August 2021.
On the 20th of January, the same Ministry awarded a contract worth 38,000,000 to “Dandi Tech”, a contract worth, N38,000,000, for the construction of 800m Perimeter Fence/Gatehouse at comprehensive Secondary School Idu Uruan. The contract duration lasted for 8 months and was completed on August 2021.
More so, the Ministry awarded “Armble Signature”, a contract worth, N38,000,001, for the Construction of 800m Perimeter Fence/Gatehouse at Comprehensive Secondary School Ifiayong Usuk, Uruan, Construction of 825m Perimeter Fence/Gatehouse at (1) Holy Child Convent School Anua Offot (Girls). The contract duration lasted for 8 months and was completed on August 2021.
In a comic manner, a contract worth, N38,000,000, was awarded to an association which is not legally allowed to engage in any contract which goes by the name of “Divine Piggery Farmers Association” for the construction of 776m Perimeter Fence/Gatehouse at Government P/S Afaha Ube Itam. The contract duration lasted for 8 months and was completed on August 2021.
The Public Procurement Law was set up to checkmate acts and intents of corruption by public office holders, as well as to punish offenders, in the event of awarding contracts to contractors in the state. It also stipulates requirements for companies to meet, before bidding for state government contracts. A requirement stipulated among others is that a contractor will provide a certificate of incorporation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) before they can be awarded a contract.
Secret Reporters carried out a check on the above companies and found out that these companies were not registered with CAC.
A search carried out on “Dandi Tech”, revealed that CAC has no record on “Dandi Tech”, but rather “Dandy Technologies Limited”, which was not the company the Ministry awarded contract to.
In the same vein, a search carried out on “Armble Signature”, equally showed that CAC has no record of the company on their website.
Secret Reporters put a call through to these companies to confirm if they (the unregistered companies) have CAC documents, all the companies claimed to have CAC documents, but upon request for sighting, they failed to provide them.