The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has noted that the contract for the supply of 35 nos BelTransfo Transformer awarded by the Kwara State Government (KWSG) to the Best International Energy Services Ltd violates the Kwara State Public Procurement Law 2018. ENetSuD wishes to corroborate this assertion by mentioning just two among so many infractions in the said contract award.
VIOLATION NUMBER 1
The award of the contract violates Section 31 of the Law, which mandates Open Competitive Bidding for procurement of works, goods and services by all procurement entities in the State, especially those with monetary value above ₦50,000,000.
The Law defines Open Competitive Bidding to mean the process by which a procuring entity, based on previously defined criteria, effect public procurement by offering to every interested bidder, equal simultaneous information and opportunity to offer works, goods and services needed.
However, the KWSG neither advertised the said transformer contract nor subjected it to any Open Competitive Bidding prescribed by the Law, but only handpicked the Best International Energy Services Ltd without following due process under the Law.
VIOLATION NUMBER 2
ENetSuD noted that the payment of 70% contract sum as advance payment to mobilise the contractor is contrary to the clear and unambiguous provisions of section 62 of the Law. The section states that advance payment of a National Competitive Bidding [even though the contract was not competitive whatsoever] is subject to an unconditional bank guarantee or insurance bond issued by a reputable bank or institution acceptable to the Tender Board of the Ministry or other forms of security which the Board considers sufficient to guarantee performance.
The spirit of the Law is to ensure that a contractor brings a Bank guarantee or insurance bond before any advance payment as mobilization fee is made to any contractor by the KWSG.
However, the KWSG paid a mobilization fee of 70% (₦138,258,750) to the contractor on 28th May, 2021 without any bank guarantee or insurance bond, contrary to the strict provision of the Law.
ENetSuD Advisory to the KWSG
ENetSuD urges the KWSG to abide by its laws and set a good example for citizens to also be law-abiding.
ENetSuD specifically urges the KWSG to ensure that all the new contracts to be awarded are in full compliance with the Procurement Law, while ongoing contracts that might have violated the Law should be revisited to ensure full compliance.
ENetSuD concludes that violation of procurement law is corruption that is punishable under the Law.