Corruption: CSOs Scolds MDA’s Over COVID-19 Procurement Shady Deal

Joel Ajayi

A Non-Governmental Organization is known as Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development PRIMORG has condemned Ministry Department Agencies MDA’s over the alleged shady deal, price overblown of the procurement of COVID-19 palliatives as well as the poor handling of the succor to all Nigerians.

The civil society organization said governments, ministries, and others who are in charge of the palliatives have failed “woefully” in procurement and distribution of the palliative.

The PRIMORG made this known through its, Ray Power 100.5 Radio Town Hall meeting on corruption in COVID-19 procurements held on Friday in Abuja.

While speaking a CivicHive of BudgIT, IyanuOluwa Bolarinwa revealed that the federal ministry of health awarded 15 out of 29 COVID-19 contracts to a single company.

Bolarinwa said a sum of N3.03 billion has been spent by seven government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) on COVID-19 contracts.

According to him, several “inflated payments” for the different contracts, which it attributed to a closed procurement process.

“Health ministry disbursed N970.25 million which was sourced from the COVID-19 intervention fund, and over 50 percent of this fund was given to Marvelous Mike Press Limited.

“The report revealed that the federal ministry of health expended N37.06 million on 1,808 pieces of face masks at the rate of N20, 467 per one. This is ridiculously expensive!”

Also speaking, Alex Aderemi of Dataphyte said a total of 71 projects valued at ₦1.99 billion (₦1,992,650,974.59) were awarded to more than fifty contractors for the supply of different goods and services. This is according to the document published on the website of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

He alleged that some of the companies do not have records on the database of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Contractors’ list of the Bureau of Public Procurement.

He said: “The initial search of two key public databases raised red flags. First, about nineteen (19) contractors who have been awarded separate projects to the tune ₦451.18 million have no records on the BPP’s Federal Contractors database. Another five contractors awarded contracts worth nearly N84 million failed to comply with the full requirement of the BPP.

“In April 2020, the Federal Government raised ₦697.54 million donations from individuals, companies, and organizations. The donation aims at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The data, published on the Open Treasury portal of the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, contains daily donations from April 7th to April 30th without record for spending

For every kobo spent by the Federal Government or its MDAs, it has a significant impact on the livelihood of an ordinary Nigeria. COVID-19 emergency procurement is such a significant fund that every MDA must be held accountable.”

However, the revealed that the data mined from the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) of the Bureau Of Public Procurement (BPP) showed these contracts were awarded by five MDAs – Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He, however, rated MDAs 20% in the purchase and the distribution of covid-19 palliatives.

On his own, Jonathan Ipaa. A Political Editor from New Vendor online news Nigeria expressed that Nigerians should be worried about the country the image that has been battered because of irregularities in the procurement and distribution of the COVID-19 palliative.

Mr. Ipaa was not happy with government attitudes toward the distribution of covid-19 palliatives suggested that CSO that have been doing well towards meeting the needs of people should have been contacted to help share the palliatives.

Meanwhile, in their different submissions they, however, said that despite the fact that the country has a long way to go in taming corruption in the country the following steps can be taken to reduce corruption.

The suggestion includes, the speedy signing of the bill know as the Audit bill that will empower the Auditor General of the Federation to punish any offenders; removal of obesity from the awarded project; government should open information for timely access for interested people; Beneficial ownership as well as stronger anti-corruption agencies and more sincerity from the government.

However, PRIMORG is a non-governmental organization that is supported by the MacArthur Foundation to strengthen anti-corruption and accountability by amplifying corruption-related investigative reports on radio and through social media.

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