Bauchi Govt Debunks Petitioner’s False Claim On Project Contract Award

By Khalid Idris Doya 

The Bauchi state government under Governor Bala Mohammed has said that no campaign of calumny will distract it from its on-going paradigm defining, people-oriented policies, projects and programs, expressing confidence that by the grace of God, the good people of Bauchi state will never elect to return to the ignoble past. 

The government is reacting to what it described as vague petitioner who falsely and maliciously made unsubstantiated allegations of impropriety in the award of a contract by the administration of Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed to a company in which he allegedly has interest dismissing the petition as unwarranted, unfounded, baseless and of no merit or substance whatsoever.

The petitioner was referring to a project being financed through a Bank Facility which the State Executive Council in strict keeping to procedure gave approval for the sum of N2.5 billion to be accessed from a N30 billion Contract Financing Arrangement with the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) by the State’s Major Contractors.

A press statement signed by the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Mohammed Gidado, said that contrary to the petitioner, the award is in addition to a sum of N2 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) direct intervention loan available to the State through Access Bank Plc, placing the total contract sum for health at N4.5 billion and not the N2.5 billion as was wrongly asserted in the petition.

Special Adviser Gidado therefore requested for unreserved apology from the petitioners to the State Government and the good citizens of Bauchi for their callous mischief and distortions of facts, having failed in their futile effort to discredit the administration of Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, vowing that the state government would not bend to the mischief of these faceless organizations and their unpatriotic sponsors.

According to the adviser, the essence of every responsible government is to provide quality service to its citizens, hence the Bauchi state government, as part of its development plans for the state, conceived the idea of the construction and renovation of secondary and primary health care centres across the state which was duly ratified by the State Executive Council. 

“We have provided the public with sufficient explanation, undisputable and verifiable facts to warrant dismissing the petition as unwarranted, unfounded, baseless and of no merit or substance whatsoever. From the above, we are left with the unmistakable conclusion that this petition is a clear attempt to distract the state government from its focused mission of redemption, a mission that has brought demonstrable succour to the people of Bauchi state”. 

Gidado described as ridiculous of the petitioner to insinuate impropriety in the process simply because the Bauchi State Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Hamza Koshe has a relationship with Pentech Engineering Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company that has long before the advent of the present administration acquitted itself creditably as a reputable partner in the development of the state. 

“By way of emphasis, the state is in no way liable to any outstanding, due to non-performance by the contractor; on the contrary, this is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that guarantees results and protects taxpayers’ funds which has been in practice as against the previous borrowing system which allowed the state to utilize the funds arbitrarily”.

Gidado further explained that the gamut can be easily verified by anybody whose motive is not prejudiced by mischief, with a large percentage of the project being satisfactorily completed and duly certified with just a minor percentage ongoing. 

He stated that by the arrangement, the contractor, and not the state, is the borrower while the state merely guarantees the loan through monthly local Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) which becomes redeemable or revocable based on the level of contractor’s performance on the projects. 

“Backed by the House Resolution, the State Government went ahead to award the contract to a consortium of companies led by Pentech Engineering Nigeria Limited serving as Special Purpose Vehicle and major contractor to finance the more than 20 companies, a convenient arrangement for the State (guarantor), the Bank (Lender), the Contractor (Borrower) and the Sub – Contractors”.

The adviser submitted that constitutionally and in line with its principles of probity, accountability and transparency, the state government maintains the account through the Single Treasury Account (TSA) System, with all monies belonging to the state passed through the single account, as same applies to all withdrawals including deductions

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