By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The sum of N2, 821, 658, 328 .20 is to be recovered from two contractors handling some road projects as over payment, which contracts were awarded by the immediate past administration of Mohammed Abubakar in Bauchi State.
The contractors were Messers QUMECS Nig. Ltd and Messrs KANNOU Project Nig. Ltd that have since abandoned the sites projects in Bauchi metropolis, and Jama’are Local Government Area of the state.
The financial recklessness perpetrated by the contractors through what was termed as illegal upward review of original contract rates was unveiled by the State Funds and Assets Recovery Committee set up by the present administration, in the course of its assigned duty to recover all stolen funds and assets belong to the people of the state.
The committee’s spokesman, Umar Barau Ningi at a press conference in Bauchi, said one of the two roads in the metropolis was awarded to Messers QUMECS Nig. Ltd at an initial cost of N1, 957, 519, 297 .53 and was later reviewed upward twice in the sums of N1, 103, 734, 742 .13 and N1, 237, 202, 468 .13 respectively.
Ningi explained, “The sum of N133, 467, 726 was found to have been added to the contract sum as ‘Loss of Profit’ to compensate for the omission of asphalt work. This, the committee believes is too much a compensation”.
Accordingly, he said, the percentage of work done to date is 21.6% and the contract has been abandoned and the contractor has left the site, hence the committee established an overpayment of N537, 117, 385 .86 which is going to be recovered.
Ningi stated that contract for the second metropolitan road was awarded to Messers KANNOU Project Nig. Ltd at original cost of N298, 596, 929 in November 2015 which contract was later reviewed upward to N463, 817, 177 .75 with the amount paid to contractor of N412, 771, 115 while the value of work done is worth N298, 715, 521 .21.
“The illegal review of the original contract rate led to the overpayment of N414, 055, 593 .79. There is an established collusion between some government officials and the contractor which resulted in the overpayment. The officials will be treated appropriately while recovery of overpayment is being handled”, Ningi said.
According to the committee spokesman, contract for the design and construction of Itas – Atafowa –Magarya road in Jama’are LGA of the state was also awarded to Messers KANNOU Nig. Ltd at the original cost of N1, 455, 001, 214 .90 on 7th November, 2016.
“This contract was later reviewed upward to N2, 979, 340, 218 .25. A total of N553, 978, 770 has been paid to contractor while the value of work done is only N151, 122, 021. With the amount paid, only 5% work is achieved. This contract is recommended to be determined and the amount of N402, 856, 749 .64 being overpayment to the contractor be recovered”, Ningi concluded.