A group under the aegis of “Democracy Watchers” has alleged that the award of N7billion contract by the chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Dr Philip Tachin for the construction/renovation of over seven hundred primary schools in Benue State was fraudulently carried out and has therefore called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission, ICPC to probe the exercise.
According to Omale Ondachi, spokesman of the body who spoke at a news briefing in Makurdi, the state capital yesterday, the award of contracts by SUBEB lacked transparency and due process, stating that majority of the contracts were merely donated to party cronies in bulk and they are presently being sold to businessmen as the highest bidding.
The “Democracy Watchers” equally alleged that what Dr. Tachin has done is a violation of Tenders Board law which stipulates that contracts should be advertised and bided for by contractors instead of the manner they are being allocated to friends and allies of government.
Dr. Odanchi said his organisation has been taken aback as the government look the other way desperate its zero tolerance for corruption as well as the transparency posture of Governor Ortom’s administration, stressing that if no action is taken, about 732 jobs, including the renovation/building of schools, supply of furniture and books under SUBEB in the state will be a sham.
They threatened to publish the names of individuals who did not bid for the jobs but got them in bulk through the back door, if the anti graft body fail to act quickly.
However, when speaking with newsmen on phone on the allegations, Dr. Tachin said he was not bothered, stressing that those who bided for the contract, legally or illegally are all citizens of Benue state and were awarded the jobs on the strength that they will deliver quality and satisfactory jobs on time and according to specifications.
Tachin maintained that those complaining or questioning the due process leading to the award of the jobs in the board can seek redress, adding that everybody must not get the job at same time.
A reliable source in SUBEB informed Nigerian Pilot that those that got the jobs are made up of party officials from council wards across the state, members of the Board, Commissioners, Special Advisers and other powerful aides with most of them holding unto 5, 10, 20, 40 60, and 100 of the contracts.
A contractor who got the job however insisted that due process was followed. “Due process was followed to the latter and Certificates of No Objection was issued by the Due Process Department.
‘’Only qualified contractors with reputable track records and with the lowest bids were selected and I want to tell you that some contractors are due for mobilization to site” he said.
But another contractor who bided for a job but was not given said, ‘’what this man is saying is not true. As for me, I met all the conditions stipulated by the tender board and I bided, yet I was not selected and those who did not bid for any job at all were awarded jobs. So I don’t know the criteria the chairman and his board members used in awarding those contract jobs,’’ he lamented.

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