Gov Bala Debunks Petitioners False Claim On Project Contract Award

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Bala Mohammed

By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi

Governor Bala Mohammed has vowed that no campaign of calumny will distract his administration from its on-going paradigm defining, people-oriented policies, projects and programmes being tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of the generality of people of Bauchi State.

To this end, the governor said, the PDP administration in Bauchi has every confidence that by the grace of God, the good people of the state will never elect to return to the ignoble past. 

Senator Bala while reacting to what he described as vacuous petitioners who falsely and maliciously made unsubstantiated allegations of impropriety in the award of a contract by his administration to a company in which he allegedly has interest.

The Governor, in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Mohammed Gidado, dismissed the petition as unwarranted, unfounded, baseless, ultra-wires, and of no merit, effect or substance whatsoever.

The petitioners have in their claim referred to a project being financed through a Bank Facility which the State Executive Council in strict keeping to procedure gave approval for the sum of N2.5 billion to be accessed from a N30 billion Contract Financing Arrangement with the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) by the State’s Major Contractors.

The statement explained that contrary to the petitioners’ claims, the award is in addition to a sum of N2 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) direct intervention loan available to the State through Access Bank Plc, putting the total contract sum for health projects at N4.5 billion and not the N2.5 billion as was wrongly asserted in the petition.

It then requested for unreserved apology from the petitioners to the State Government and the good citizens of Bauchi for the callous mischief and distortions of facts, having failed in their futile effort to discredit the administration of Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed.

Governor Bala Mohammed vowed that the state government would not bend to the mischief of those faceless organizations and their unpatriotic sponsors saying the essence of every responsible government is to provide quality service to its citizens.

The adviser on media explained that the Bauchi state government conceived the idea of the construction and renovation of secondary and primary health care centres across the state which idea, he said, was duly ratified by the State Executive Council. 

Gidado said, “We have provided the public with sufficient explanation, undisputable and verifiable facts to warrant dismissing the petition as unwarranted, unfounded, baseless and of no merit or substance whatsoever”.

“From the above, we are left with the unmistakable conclusion that this petition is a clear attempt to distract the state government from its focused mission of redemption, a mission that has brought demonstrable succour to the people of Bauchi state”, he added. 

Gidado therefore described as ridiculous of the petitioners to insinuate impropriety in the process simply because the Bauchi State Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Hamza Koshe has a relationship with Pentech Engineering Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company that has long before the advent of the present administration acquitted itself creditably as a reputable partner in the development of the state. 

“By way of emphasis, the state is in no way liable to any outstanding, due to non-performance by the contractor. On the contrary, this is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that guarantees results and protects tax payers’ funds which has been in practice as against the previous borrowing system which allowed the state to utilize the funds arbitrarily”. 

The adviser said that the allegation can be easily verified by anybody whose motive is not prejudiced by mischief, with a large percentage of the project been satisfactorily completed and duly certified with just a minor percentage ongoing. 

According to him, by the arrangement, the contractor and not the state, is the borrower while the state merely guarantees the loan through monthly local Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) which becomes redeemable or revocable based on the level of contractor’s performance on the projects. 

“Backed by the House of Assembly resolution, the state government went ahead to award the contract to a consortium of companies led by Pentech Engineering Nigeria Limited serving as Special Purpose Vehicle and major contractor to finance the more than 20 companies, a convenient arrangement for the State (guarantor), the Bank (Lender), the Contractor (Borrower) and the Sub – Contractors”.

Gidado revealed that constitutionally and in line with its principles of probity, accountability and transparency, the state government maintains the account through the Single Treasury Account (TSA) System, with all monies belonging to the state passed through the single account, as same applies to all withdrawals, including deductions.

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