Contracts Extravaganza As N1tn Federal Contracts Are Awarded In 16 Months

In june of 2012, the Federal Governement alluded that over 12,000 federal projects worth a whopping N7.8tn had been abandoned over the years. To further underscore its determination to put an end to the negative trend, the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, on June 21, 2012, while inaugurating the Committee on Guideline for the Management and Implementation of Federal Infrastructure Projects in Abuja , warned that, “In line with the transformation agenda, the Federal Government has decided that federal projects would no longer be done haphazardly or arbitrarily.” Has the FG kept to its own words or was that another rhetoric?

A cursory look at the current administration’s penchant for turning contract awards into a bazaar reveals that between August 10, 2011 and November 28, 2012, the Federal Government awarded contracts worth about N1.187tn – this information can be obtained from the website of the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The figure represents the total value of over 140 contracts spread across various sectors of the economy. A breakdown of the contract showed that between August 10 and February 15, the FG awarded contracts worth over N700bn, while in the months from May 30 to November 28, it awarded contracts in excess of N400bn.

It is within government’s constitutional role to award contracts in its quest “to better” the lot of Nigerians, however, it is important to ask, what are the short, medium and long term benefits of these contract awards to Nigerians? Are they just contracts for projects awarded to boost personal egos or projects that don’t have an immediate bearing on the lives of average Nigerians? Take for instance, the plan to build a new residence for the Vice President or the plan to build a new banquet hall in the villa or is it the plan to build a new city to commemorate a century of the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates?

Most of these projects continue to generate contoversy but it seems that’s all it can do because as the days turn to months, and months to years, the figure will keep soaring higher and we will keep asking questions – where has all the trillions of Naira being expended?

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