Those who mismanaged the Federal Government’s COVID-19 contract funds would be prosecuted, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said.
The agency stated this in response to a report by a non-governmental organisation, Civic Hive of BudgIT.
The report claimed that seven government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) spent the sum of N3.03 billion on COVID-19 contracts.
Noting that the costs of the contracts were suspicious, the NGO added that most of the MDAs involved failed to “make public their procurement process.”
In a series of posts on its Twitter handle, @CivicHive, the NGO said:
“The Ministry of Health spent N37.06m on just 1808 pieces of ordinary face masks.
“This brings the cost of a single mask to approximately N20,467. This is ridiculously expensive!
“A single entity by the name Marvellous Mike Press Limited was awarded 15 out of the 29 contracts at the Federal Ministry of Health.
“This amounted to a sum of N444.28m
“How do Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta award contracts amounting to N106.72m without a contactor?
“Are the projects fixing themselves?
“@NCDCgov Abuja spent N49.8m on PEPs without proper descriptions of things bought with the funds.
“We do not have a proper record of how much was spent on what. This appears to secretive.
“A sum of N43.87m was spent to supply 2240 pieces of facemasks by @NCDCgov
“FMC Abakaliki bought and installed a 100KVA Generator without a contractor!
“The Ministry of Interior spent N18m on the purchase of 10,000 milliliters per kilogram for liquid soap.
“The University of Abuja Teaching hospital took the delivery of medical supplies specifically for the isolation center ranging to N34.86m.
“Till now, we do not know exactly what was supplied to the center.”
The NGO added, “Most of the MDAs involved do not make public their procurement process.
“We believe this would have been competitive if all projects we made open to all.
“With the way things are, it is nearly impossible to seek transparency and accountability.”
In her response to the allegations, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC spokesperson, said the Civic Hive report had got to the commission’s knowledge and that it had begun monitoring things closely with a view to prosecuting anyone found wanting.
“The ICPC is really monitoring and there are things we are seeing. The monitoring is ongoing and we cannot reveal anything now. We are working in collaboration with BPP and the Office of the Accountant General.
“The cases that we feel need further investigation will be investigated. You know we cannot just go to court with the report from BudgIT. We need to follow up at a more detailed level and do a thorough investigation. If we go with one, it will be like we are truncating the process. So, we are monitoring the process and flagging those that need further investigation, and possibly prosecution,” she said.
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