contract racketeering

Greedy Thieves: How Lagos State Parastatals Monitoring Office, Ministry Of Science And Technology, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment Threw Out Qualified Companies, Awarded Multi-Million Contracts To Unqualified Companies

Secrets Reporters

Despite the numerous legal dragnets that have been put in place to regularize the conducts of public office holders in Nigeria, instances of nepotism, cronyism, and conflicts of interest have continued to trail recent contract awards within Lagos State, raising serious concerns about the integrity of the procurement process and the stewardship of public funds.

A fresh investigation has unearthed a disturbing trend in the procurement practices of Lagos State, shedding light on naked violations of both legal statutes and ethical norms despite the presence of comprehensive legislation such as the Public Procurement Act of 2007 and the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, which aim to regulate the process of awarding contracts and ensure transparency.

SecretsReporters gathered from the Lagos State open procurement portal that in June 2022, the State’s Parastatals Monitoring Office awarded a contract worth N2,500,000.00 to Gesundheit Nigeria Limited for the “Engagement of a Consultant to Review the Activities of Lagos State Agency for Mass Education.”

Findings show that the company which was registered on 09 March 2020 didn’t have up to three years taxation before it was awarded the contract.

We gathered that the Port-Harcourt based company has one Ejike Fidel Chinedu as its Director, Nwokoro Sammie Uzochukwu as the Secretary, and Onwuchuruba Chidiebere Vitalis as the Deponent.

In another incriminating action, the State Ministry of Science and Technology danced to the greedy drums of cronyism in June 2022 by awarding a contract worth N4,860,000.00 to an unqualified company, throwing out the biddings of other qualified companies.

According to the details buried within the procurement portal, the contract which was gifted to Constance & Alex Services, was for the “Provision Of Nine (9) Computer Systems For Technical Staff (Lot 3)”.

This online media gathered that the company was registered on 07 September 2020, implying that it didn’t have up to three years taxation before it was awarded the contract.

Further x-ray of the portal revealed that in June 2022, the State’s Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment gifted a contract to Josolfat Investment Limited for the “Organization Of Strategic Meeting Between The State Focal Person, 195 Independent Monitors In The State And Other Stakeholders On The N-Sip Programme.”

It was stated that the contract awarded to the Lagos-based company was pegged at N2,500,000.00.  

Meanwhile, eyebrow-raising findings revealed that the company which was registered on 03 August 2020 didn’t have up to three years taxation before it was awarded.

The Lagos State Government procurement laws have it that a company must have a Tax Clearance Certificate of three years before it can be qualified for the State government contract.

The Public Procurement Act of 2007, specifically Section 58, imposes stringent penalties, including imprisonment for up to five or ten years, for individuals found guilty of awarding contracts without due process. Similarly, Section 38 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 prohibits contracts that do not adhere to established procurement rules. Furthermore, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act of 2007 unequivocally prohibits government officials from engaging in self-dealing or favoritism in the awarding of contracts.

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