Fashola denies BPP allegation of contract inflation

Babatunde Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has denied allegations of contract inflation levelled against his ministry by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The bureau had said in a report that it saved over N26 billion for the government in 2018 by revising down ‘inflated’ contract sums by government contractors.

It also said the highest reduction was made from the ministry of power, works and housing where N22.22 billion was cut from a request of N877.40 billion.

Fashola was in charge of power before it was removed from his portfolio by President Muhammadu Buhari in August.

The minister, however, in a statement on Monday by his spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, asked the agency to publish its rates and “clear the air on the lingering issue of alleged contract inflation reported in the media last week.”

The statement said: “Being a department of the same government, ordinarily this should not warrant a reply; however the misleading nature of the reporting in the media and the statements credited to BPP compel a response for the purposes of clarification and enlightenment of the public.

“Any person who takes time to read the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, which created the BPP will understand that no contract can be awarded until BPP certifies that it has NO OBJECTION.

“Therefore there was no INFLATED contract because BPP clearly stated that it reduced the costs, and according to BPP she ‘… saved over N26 Billion…’ And this is the heart of the matter because BPP’s ‘savings’ can only be a SUBJECTIVE assessment based on rates quoted by contractors, reviewed by the Ministry, and sent to BPP for certification.”