The Bureau of Pubic Procurement on Tuesday said it had saved the country a total of N658.88bn from inflated contracts submitted by contractors of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.
The bureau, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the figure, which was provided by the Director-General of the BPP, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, covered a five-year period, from 2009 to 2014.
It stated that the BPP DG spoke in Abuja at a panel session on “Ending the scourge of abandoned projects in Nigeria,” which was part of the activities at the ongoing 55th annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.
He said such savings were made possible through the bureau’s prior reviews of awarded contracts.
The statement reads in part, “Nigeria was saved a total sum of N658,886,962,004.01 between 2009 and 2014 from contracts awarded by agencies of the Federal Government.”
Ezeh reportedly said the bureau had successful resolved 365 out of the 557 complaints it received from contractors during the period.
According to the BPP boss, majority of international companies that usually handle construction projects in the country are now closing their operations, noting that the development had made the few ones that have yet to shut down to be overburdened with many projects.
He described the trend as disturbing as it had led to delay in the execution of projects.
The statement said, “He drew the attention of the audience to the disturbing trend of many international companies that used to handle huge construction projects in Nigeria shrinking or closing operation, resulting in the few capable international companies being overburdened with many jobs with its attendant possibility of collusion.
“He said that abandoned projects include those for huge infrastructure and small contracts in different parts of the country embarked upon by different tiers of government.”
Ezeh listed the challenges in the provision of infrastructure as contract splitting, especially for low-value contract, the use of fake documents by bidders, and multiple ownership of companies by bidders.
Others are high level of connivance by MDAs with the contractors, especially for low-value contracts, long delays in investigation and prosecution of cases, capacity gaps in the MDAs and contractors and delay in payments for jobs duly certified.