Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo claimed, yesterday, that contractors were in the habit of hawking contract papers to the highest bidder; at the lobby of a popular hotel in Abuja.
This would be after the PAP would have paid them the statutory 15 percent Mobilisation Fee.
Prof. Dokubo disclosed this at an interactive session with newsmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and added that he has since stopped most contractors, referred to as Vendors, from sharp practices; with regards to the Programme.
He said: “I don’t have any personal problem with them except that I am not comfortable with their mode of operation.
“These are people who want to be awarded contracts as a group. How can that be? Contracts are awarded to individual companies who have the capacity to perform and deliver the jobs. So, what sort of association are they? I had never heard of such before I joined the Amnesty Programme. When I came they were already on ground. But for me, it was an illicit way of getting contracts and then not performing or delivering on those contracts because they claim that they come from the region. This sense of entitlement pervades whatever they do there.
“If you’ve done a contract, you must bring a Certificate of Completion because it is based on that that the Amnesty Office will pay you. But, as I mentioned earlier, we have to cut off the 15 percent because for most people, 15 percent was like a free gift and once you got it, you run!
“They won’t even come back to do the job. Yes, the 15 percent was supposed to be Mobilisation Fee for the contract and later when you have done the job up to a certain level, you come back for more. But when we looked at it and people just take the money and run away. Some of them even use multiple companies to have this 15 percent mobilisation fee.
“So, we looked at our liabilities and when we saw that most of those who collected 15 percent did not do any job, we wrote to them that before you take anything from us you must complete the work because we are not doing a direct labour service. This is a contract awarded to you and you must deliver for you to be paid. The other issue is that some of these people who parade themselves as vendors, they don’t even have the resources to execute contracts.”