A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bala Ka’Oje, said on Saturday corruption is still endemic in the country despite the present administration’s best effort to tackle the problem.
He also said some government agencies and parastatals awarded contracts before they were advertised.
Ka’Oje, who is a former Minister of Sports during ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, told journalists that many Nigerians spent huge sums of money to get pre-qualification papers not knowing that the contracts had been awarded.
He said: “This government came under the mantra of change and fight against corruption as among the cardinal focus, should we be talking about corruption by now?
“To be honest with you, fighting corruption is not easy. The government has been trying the best it can within the past four years. But corruption is extremely difficult to tackle, it is very difficult to identify who and who and where and where corruption is taking place and how.
“For example I was reading in the papers where some NGOs led by one Indian talking about citizen participation in governance. Now what they are talking about basically is that the way they see things there is no equitable distribution of resources in the country and there statement from what I read is very clear. What they said is quite true.
“All the contracts that are awarded in Nigeria as of today, to be specific the smaller contracts are awarded before they were advertised. The big contracts undergo some very serious scrutiny.
“For example, the President signed a rail contract of $3.9 billion, those kinds of contracts undergo serious scrutiny before they are being awarded.
“But those smaller contracts that are advertised either in the tenders journal or sometimes in the print media many people go out there to tender for them.
“But to be honest, the stories that we are hearing are appalling in the sense that a common man who does not have contact in an agency or ministry cannot be able to get a contract awarded to him even if he has the best tender that is responsive to that particular project.
“Because those in power had distributed these projects already even before they are advertised.”
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