House of Representatives has resolved to investigate alleged abuse, breach, and violation of the Public Procurement Act in the engagement of consultants for pre-shipment inspection and monitoring of crude oil and gas exports from Nigeria which led to the loss of $160 million.
This was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by hon. Kabiru Amadu from Zamfara State at plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion, Amadu said, in line with the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Exports Act, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is mandated to appoint inspecting agents to carry out pre-shipment inspection.
He recalled that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had delegated these powers to the Federal Ministry of Finance, based on this delegation, the Federal Ministry of Finance initiated a process of engaging pre-shipment inspectors and monitoring agents;
The lawmaker said, as required by the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (as amended), the Federal Ministry of Finance commenced the process in a chaotic manner, which had clear infractions and breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance resumed the tendering process after complaints, but faced abuse and breach of the Public Procurement Act, with unresponsive companies pre-qualified and lacking basic documents.
“The abuses were designed, pushed, and implemented by officers of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Public Procurement Act and other procurement guidelines were completely ignored, and key provisions on conflict of interest were violated
“As a result of the above abuses, which culminated in the engagement of unqualified and unresponsive consultants, mistakes have been made by these consultants after their engagement, which has now resulted in a loss of revenue worth about 160 million USD,” he stated.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Public Procurement to carry out the investigation and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.