The Members of the House of Representatives has moved to uncover how the current Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun blew N17 billion to furnish her ministry and cases of violation of Procurement Act.
Elombah.com is still gathering the missing links in the story that Mrs Adeosun spent N17b to furnish her ministry in this critical time of recession.
Nigerians from various walks of life are urging the legislators to ensure detailed and proper investigation on the issue and not allow it to be swept under the carpet.
Hell was let loose when plethora of underestimated and ‘doctored’ tax certificates submitted by companies was discovered at the ongoing probe on violation of Procurement Act.
The committee is investigating alleged abuse and breach of the Public Procurement Act of 2007.
The lawmakers in session also summoned former Ministers of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Esther Nenadi Usman, former Head of Service [HoS], Steve Oronsaye, former AGF, Jonah Otunla, and all permanent secretaries of Ministry of Finance from 1999 till date.
In related developments, the Reps have threatened to handover firms with ‘doctored’ tax certificates to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission ICPC].
‘Firm collected $120 million contract and paid N20,000 tax’, Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun), who was angered by what the committee had seen in the last four weeks of investigative hearing, declared.
He said: “It’s alarming that a company that collected a contract of $120 million paid only N20,000.00 as tax to the Federal Government.
“To say the least, it is annoying and those are the things this investigative hearing is trying to correct.
“We have documents submitted by companies that are at variance with what FIRS, BPP, NSITF, PenCom and ITF gave us and you all know that our children and siblings benefit from ITF and if the right amount is not paid, how will they get trained?
“Henceforth, we’ll not hesitate to handover such companies to anti-graft agencies.”
Speaking on why former ministers of finance were summoned, Oke explained:
“We invited them to come and defend themselves and let us know the roles they played within the period of their stewardship.
“The essence of this invitation is to enable the investigative hearing have a balanced position on all issues.”
Minister of Finance Adeosun, however, insists that due process was followed.
Earlier in her presentation, she said: “It’s pertinent to start by stating that the process of procurement of consultants for pre-shipment inspection and monitoring of crude oil and gas exports from Nigeria, which the National Assembly is calling for investigation into allegations of abuse, breach and violation of the Procurement Act 2007, is still ongoing.
“The ministry embarked on the procurement process for the appointment of pre-shipment agents and monitoring of oil and gas exports in February 2016 based on BPP’s approved invitation for expression of interest duly published in two national dailies and the Federal Tenders journal of February 8, 2016, soliciting expression of interest of bids from competent and reputable consultants for engagement as pre-shipment inspectors and monitors of oil and gas exports.
“A total of 67 companies were pre-qualified of the 166 that expressed interest, while 49 passed the quality based selection, having scored 70 percent and above.
“It’s relevant to reiterate that from the beginning of the procurement process till date, the ministry has been working closely with BPP, having obtained necessary approvals, including advertisements, Request for Proposal (RfP) and approval to adopt quality based selection method to select the consultants.
“However, there is need to point the following: There was no procurement plan because the NESS is statutorily self-financing and is not expected to be included in the annual budget.
“Therefore, budgeting is not applicable.
“The delay in concluding the procurement of the consultants was because of various procurement processes, which include expression of interest, advertisement, bid opening, evaluation, request for proposal, and request for certificate of No Objection from BPP.”