See full names of corrupt contractors in NIGERIA

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has8orwarded to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
documents from some of the Ministry’s agencies providing some level of
details regarding the names of contractors that allegedly collected
money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, and
inviting SERAP to “inspect a compendium of verified and paid/outstanding
liabilities of contractors, kept at the offices of the Nigeria
Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE.”

This development was disclosed today in a statement by SERAP deputy
director Kolawole Oluwadare.

The Ministry’s letter with reference number FMP/LU/R2K/2016/T/40 and
signed on Mr Fashola’s behalf by the Permanent Secretary (Power) Louis
O.N. Edozien, was sent to SERAP last week. The letter reveals that: “Pow
Technologies Limited, an Abuja based company, was in 2014 awarded a
contract for the supply and installation of test and maintenance
equipment relays, etc to various NAPTIN regional training centers (RTCs)
(LOT15), with the total contract sum of N87,763,302.40, out of which
N79,404,892.66 was paid to Pow Technologies Limited.”

According to the Ministry’s letter, although the contract was awarded in
2014, only 13 of the 19 items have so far been supplied, with 6 items
outstanding. The details of the 6 items that Pow Technologies Limited
has allegedly failed to supply are not provided by the Ministry but the
letter indicates some of the action the Ministry said it has taken to
ensure: “completion of the project, address criminal breach of contract
and take remedial action.”

The Ministry said that while the contractors undertook to take remedial
action, they have failed to complete the project for which funds have
been released. The Ministry pointed out that it submitted a petition to
the Commissioner of Police, Abuja on 13th January 2016, and that the
police instituted a case for the prosecution of Messrs Pow at the Upper
Area Court.

The Ministry also said it has sought and received legal advice to pursue
a civil action at the FCT High Court while a report of criminal breach
of contract has been made to the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC).

SERAP said: “We welcome Mr Fashola’s latest response and the information
regarding Pow Technologies Limited. But we need details of names of
other contractors that have collected public funds yet failed to execute
power projects. We will continue to push the Ministry and its agencies
to reveal more details of alleged corrupt contractors and companies, as
contained in our FOI request. We will continue to pursue our FOI suit at
the Federal High Court, Lagos, before Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, a
Professor of Law, who has granted an order for leave in the case.”

Mr Fashola’s latest letter to SERAP reads in part: “I write with respect
to the Ministry’s letter regarding details of alleged corrupt
contractors and to forward the attached responses from some of the
Ministry’s Agencies namely: National Bulk Electricity Trading Plc;
National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and Nigeria Electricity
Liability Management Limited/GTE for your information.”

It would be recalled that Mr Fashola had earlier said in response to
SERAP’s FOI request that: “the Ministry has searched for the requested
information on details of alleged contractors and companies that
collected money for electricity projects and failed to executive any
projects, but we could not find it from our records.”

However, SERAP disagreed with the response, saying: “The public
expectation is that government information, when in the hands of any
public institutions and agencies, should be available to the public, as
prescribed by the FOI Act. The FOI Act should always be used as an
authority for disclosing information rather than withholding it.”

Mr Fashola in a follow-up letter dated 4th March, 2019, to SERAP’s
reaction promised to: “refer the request for details of alleged
contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects
and failed to executive any projects to the Ministry’s agencies for
necessary action and appropriate response. There may be instances of
part-payment against certification of commensurate value for materials
and services in achieved contract milestone even though the entire
contract is not 100% performed.”

Mr Fashola’s initial response followed SERAP’s FOI request and suit
number FHC/L/CS/105/19 filed in February at the Federal High Court,
Lagos. The suit is seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or
compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the names and
whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for
electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing
any projects.”

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