The attention of the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing has been drawn to headlines from reports credited to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) about its having “…saved over N26 billion…” for the Federal Government in the year 2018 by revising down “inflated” contract sums by Government Contractors some of which emanated from the erstwhile Ministry of Power Works and Housing.
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.
Until BPP publishes its rates which the then Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has demanded in writing, there can be no OBJECTIVE basis for determining whether any SAVINGS were indeed made if only BPP knows its own Rates for procurement.
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.
This is the type of Reform that the Minister advocates and welcomes to improve uniformity, Transparency, Accountability and value for money in public procurement.
TO THE HON.MINISTER
How LASCOPA recovered N18.9m compensation for consumers in Lagos
The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) says it has recovered N18,886,754 as refund and compensation for consumers in the state
The General Manager, LASCOPA, Mrs Kemi Olugbode, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.
She said that the money was recovered for consumers who sought the support of the agency to get redress from infringements on their rights by retailers and traders of various consumables.
Olugbode said that LASCOPA received complaints daily from aggrieved consumers seeking redress from various unfair trade practices in the state.
She noted that 87.1 percent of the total complaints received by the agency had been amicably resolved, while 9.4 percent were receiving attention.
”About 1.5 percent of the complaints received are awaiting court judgment and two percent were dropped for lack of merit,” he said.
Olugbode said that complaints were received from transportation, banking and finance, food and beverages, Insurance, e-commerce, telecommunications and property sectors.
Other areas are; electricity distribution companies, confectioneries, Manufacturing, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemical and agro-allied companies, among others.
She urged consumers to take advantage of the agency`s services to seek redress whenever there was an infringement on their rights, as it was free of charge.
Olugbode said that complaints should be forwarded online through the agency’s e-mail addresses, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
She said that complainants could also visit LASCOPA’s office and all complaints should be accompanied with relevant documents attached.
Jubilations as Access Bank opens new branch in Osun
There was profound jubilation among the people of Ipetu-Ijesha, in Oriade Local Government of Osun State, as Access Bank opened its new branch in the sleepy community.
Speaking at the event, which was graced by many dignitaries across the country, the Group Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe reiterated the commitment of the Bank to the welfare of many inhabitants of the town through inclusive banking system.
He promised to positively engage the people of the community in terms of provision of credit facilities for small scale businesses as well as employment for the youths.
According to him, such banking experience would accelerate commercial activities as well as human development, with inherent corporate social responsibility of immense value.
“The coming of this Bank to Ipetu-Ijesha is a testimony of rapid commercial growth in the town. The bank will also assist to promote and encourage the development of indigenes in all ramifications.
“We are committed to improving your standard of living economically and socially and we will do everything possible within our means to assist the community in their various entrepreneurial endeavours “, Wigwe said.
The traditional ruler of the town, Oba Adeleke Agunbiade, Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesha expressed excitement over the development, saying it is a new dawn of economic advancement in the community, as he eulogised the Bank for considering his domain worthy of such developmental project.
He therefore implored his subjects to reciprocate the gesture through optimal patronage and concerted efforts towards protecting the Bank and its staff jealously.
“This is indeed a dawn of a new era in our town and a move towards economic emancipation and liberation. It is a signal of more developmental projects in our domain.
“I want to beg you to reciprocate this by opening accounts with Access Bank, this is the only Bank that guarantees safety of your money at any time.
“It should be noted that anybody who refuses to Bank with Access is an enemy of the king and by extension an enemy of Ipetu-Ijesha”.
12 filling stations sealed off in Sokoto, Kebbi
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has sealed 12 filling stations in Sokoto and Kebbi states for under dispensing and operating without valid licence.
Mr Muhammad Makera, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi states, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Sokoto .
Makera said the erring stations were sealed during unscheduled inspection by the department’s officials between Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Thursday, Sept. 19
He said that five filling stations were sealed for under dispensing of petroleum products while the remaining seven were sanctioned for operating without valid licence and non-adherence to required safety precautions.
According to him, the DPR officials visited no fewer than 99 filling stations in Sokoto and Kebbi staes within the period.
Makera expressed dismay that most of the stations’ managers feigned ignorance of the regulations of the Department.
He warned petroleum marketers to desist from such sharp practices, saying severe sanctions awaited offenders.
According to him, fuel stations ought to update their operational licences and regularize their operations promptly to avoid clampdown.
He called on consumers to report any suspicious or sharp practice noticed in any fuel station to the department for necessary action.
Makera said that current trend of short-changing customers by filling stations was unacceptable.
According to him, the department’s surveillance team is working to ensure availability of petrol at regulated price of N145 per litre.
He cautioned marketers against flouting government regulations and customers against panic buying.
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