Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, on Thursday, grilled the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over a N5.1billon contact awarded for the renovations of the its corporate headquarters in Lagos.
The committee while insisting that the NPA must respond to the query, demanded original copies of all the documents relating to the contract, stating that the signature page of photocopies of the documents presented to them did not contain any date.
The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had in an audit query said the contract awarded in 2011 with a completion period of 15 months, observed that there was no valid contractual agreement between the NPA and the firm handling the contract.
According to the query, the agreement for the project was eventually signed in December 2013 when the project was supposed to have been completed.
The chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, at an investigative hearing organised by the committee, expressed reservations that a contract of such magnitude could be awarded without a validly-signed contractual agreement, as alleged in the audit query.
However, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Usman, in her response stated that the contract was awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Usman noted that available records showed that there was a validly-signed contractual agreement
Regardless, Oke ruled that the audit query be stepped down to enable the NPA produce the original copy of the contract for sighting by the committee, while clear copies of the documents should be resubmitted to them.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Works, has summoned the Director- General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) , Mamman Ahmadu, to appear before it over the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria Road.
The BPP DG had failed to attend a meeting with the committee on Wednesday, while officials of the agency, who attended the parley could not give cogent reasons for his absence.
The Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, decried the absence of the DG, noting that it was a slight on the entire Green Chamber for him to fail to honour the invitation of the committee, without deeming it necessary to write to the committee to give his reason for his absence at the parley.