University of Jos

Senior Lecturer at University of Jos, Esther Awazzi Linked to Over N80 Million Public Contract Scam

Secrets Reporters

In a country where civil servants are strictly prohibited from engaging in private business or trade—with the notable exception of agricultural activities—a troubling pattern has come to light. Despite clear regulations designed to keep public servants dedicated to their official duties and free from conflicts of interest, some individuals are circumventing these laws. This misconduct is not just a violation of ethical standards but is also costing Nigeria an estimated $10 billion annually. The alleged involvement of civil servants in awarding contracts to favored contractors or even to companies they personally own highlights a severe breach of public trust and integrity.

One such case involves Esther Awazzi Dr. (Mrs.) Envuladu, a senior lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine at the College of Health Sciences, University of Jos. Documents reveal that she has been involved in awarding a public contract under dubious circumstances. On May 10, 2024, a contract was awarded to Bienvula Nig Ltd for the rehabilitation of a 3km road at Byazhin, Kubwa, Abuja. The contract, valued at ₦84,847,674.42, was issued by the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority (RBDA). The payment details show a transaction to Bienvula Nig Ltd, with the payer code 0252042001.

Bienvula Nig Ltd, the company in question, is based in Jos, Plateau State, same place Esther lives and works. It was incorporated on November 23, 2005, with the registration number RC 639825. The company’s registered address is listed as No. 1 Behind Mobil Filling Station, Opp. State Police, Jos. While its registered activity is farming—a permissible activity for civil servants—the involvement of Esther Awazzi Dr. (Mrs.) Envuladu’s company in the rehabilitation of 3km road at Byazhin raises significant concerns.

The company’s records show that Esther Awazzi Dr. (Mrs.) Envuladu is not only a director but also a shareholder of Bienvula Nig Ltd, alongside Bitrus Alaku Mr. Envuladu and Henry Mr. Envuladu, who also serve as directors and shareholders. This dual role as a public servant and a business owner in a company receiving public contracts directly contradicts the regulations intended to prevent such conflicts of interest.

The ramifications of these actions are severe. When civil servants like Esther Awazzi Dr. (Mrs.) Envuladu engage in private business dealings, especially those involving public funds, it undermines the integrity of public service. Such actions erode public trust and result in significant financial losses. The estimated $10 billion lost annually due to such practices is a staggering figure that highlights the critical need for stringent enforcement of existing regulations and possibly the introduction of more robust oversight mechanisms.

Efforts to reach the company and Lower Benue RBDA were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

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