Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, who was recently reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, stated that there was no case of inflation under him.
The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had declared that it saved more than N26.86 billion for the Federal Government in 2018 alone, by revising down inflated contract sums by government contractors.
BPP in its 2018 annual report listed affected ministries to include Transport and Power, Works and Housing headed by Babatunde Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Lagos and Rivers, respectively.
BPP claimed that the savings were made from a review of contracts awarded to contractors by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) before being given a certificate of “No Objection’’ by the bureau.
“Of the savings made, the highest amount of N22.22 billion was recorded from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The money was saved from an initial request of N877.40 billion”.
Fashola in a statement on Monday through his spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, stated that there has been “misleading” report of the issue in the media.
“Being a department of the same government, ordinarily this should not warrant a reply; however the misleading nature of the reporting in the media and the statements credited to BPP compel a response for the purposes of clarification and enlightenment of the public”.
“Any person who takes time to read the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, which created the BPP will understand that no contract can be awarded until BPP certifies that it has no objection.”
“Therefore there was no inflated contract because BPP clearly stated that it reduced the costs, and according to BPP she “… saved over N26 Billion…” And this is the heart of the matter because BPP’s “ savings” can only be a subjective assessment based on rates quoted by contractors, reviewed by the Ministry, and sent to BPP for certification.”
“Once rates are published and design is known, quantities can be ascertained and costs can be determined.”
“This is the field of Quantity Surveyors and Construction Economists, and the Minister of Works and Housing has not made any secret about his call for a revision of the Public Procurement Act to resolve this and other gaps in the Law.”
“Indeed, during the first term of this Administration, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had commissioned the compilation of a service-wide Rate of major items of procurement from the largest to the smallest for BPP to consider, adopt or amend and publish.”