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EXCLUSIVE: How Kwara Government Hides Details Of N476M 'Barb Wire' Project, Contractor’s Name 'Not Available', Email Address Is [email protected]

Efforts to reach the supposed contractor through the mail failed as a message sent to the address was neither acknowledged nor replied to.

SaharaReporters' investigation reveals that Kwara State Government has hidden vital information regarding the N476 million project.

The 'N476M Installation Of Barb Wire On The Fence' Project was uploaded on the state open procurement website but the government failed to provide the name, email address and office address of the contractor to which the multi-million-naira project was awarded.

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Kwara’s Open Procurement Website was created to meet information needs on the operations of the state procurement agency.

As seen on the procurement website, the email address for the contractor handling the multi-million-naira project says [email protected]

Efforts to reach the supposed contractor through the mail failed as a message sent to the address was neither acknowledged nor replied to.

The government equally hid the exact location of the fence project and efforts made by SaharaReporters to track the project were not successful.


A Breach Of The State Procurement Law?

By not releasing the full details of this project, the government has negated the objectives of the Kwara State Procurement Vendor Platform which is to 'ensure probity, accountability and transparency in Public Procurement throughout Kwara State'.

Also, section 15 of Kwara State Procurement Law 2018 categorically states that the functions of the state procurement agency include 'to publish the details of major contracts in the State, publish paper and electronic editions of the state Procurement Journal and Procurement Manual and maintain an archival system for the State Procurement Journal; maintain a database of contractors, consultants and other service providers to the exclusion of all procuring entities’.
 
Government Holds Past Administration Responsible

When SaharaReporters contacted the General Manager of the Kwara Procurement Agency, Mr AbdulBaki AbdulRahman, to get his reaction on our findings regarding the N476 million project, he said, "Government is already looking for details because it is a project executed by the immediate past administration."

However, all efforts to get the reaction of the immediate past administration of Abdulfatah Ahmed were not successful.

Mr Muideen Akorede, Chief Press Secretary to Ahmed, did not answer several calls to his mobile line. He also did not reply to text messages sent to him.

 

Residents Groan, Urge Anti-graft Agencies To Investigate N476 Million Project  

Some Kwara residents who spoke to SaharaReporters criticised how the multi-million-naira project has been shrouded in secrecy.

"This is bad for the state government, to not detail how taxpayers' money is being spent. ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) and EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) should investigate the issues surrounding the barb wire project," a resident who identified himself as Yusuf Balogun said.

Another resident, Ismaila Kawu, a legal practitioner, described the failure of the government to make the details of the project available for public consumption as suspicious, adding that it raises a serious concern about good governance.

"Every concerned citizen should be ready to ask the government questions on issues like this. It might be a gross misappropriation of public funds," he added.
 
Civil Societies React

Chairman of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Olanrewaju Suraju, explained that it is the responsibility of the present government to investigate the matter surrounding the project.

"Government is a continual exercise. It is not justifiable for the present government to blame the past administration without investigating the matter themselves.

"It leaves room for doubt when the government failed to provide details of such a multi-millionaire project," Mr Suraju said.

Similarly, the Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran, described the situation as fertile ground for misappropriation of public funds.

He, therefore, called on the "ICPC and other procurement agencies to step into the matter and ensure that anything that is wrongly done [regarding the project] should be reversed."