Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE has clarified that it paid nine hundred and twenty nine million, six hundred and thirteen thousand, one hundred and eighty-eight naira, ninety-Four kobo (N929,613,188.94) to Messrs J.K. Gadzama & Partners as the Consultant, Legal advisory Services for the winding up of defunct PHCN Plc, and N500 million to the Office Of The Accountant General Of The Federation, OAGF for Consultancy after following due process.
A statement obtained by our reporter yesterday in Abuja, and signed by the Head, Public Communications of the BPE, Mr. Alex E. Okoh said “We want to assure that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) follows due process and obtains all necessary approvals before embarking on any transaction.”
Explaining how the consultancy fee was paid, the BPE stated: “The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its Meeting held on Thursday May 9, 2013 considered and approved the award of a legal consultancy services to Messrs J.K. Gadzama & Partners as the Consultant, Legal advisory Services for the winding up of PHCN Plc in the sum of Nine hundred and twenty nine million, six hundred and thirteen thousand, one hundred and eighty–eight naira, ninety-Four kobo (N929,613,188.94) only for a period of six (6) months after obtaining a BPP “No Objection”.
It further explained that the Office of Attorney-General of the Federation, OAGF had earlier objected to the necessity of the procurement, but later withdrew its objection and endorsed the engagement of Messrs Gadzama & Partners for the Legal Advisory Services “vide a letter presented to the NCP ref: HAGF/BPP/2014/Vol.1, dated 17th September 2014.”
“Consequently, the Council at its meeting held on April 16, 2015, finally approved that BPE should immediately proceed to execute the contract with Messrs J’K’ Gadzama & Partners as the Consultant, Legal Advisory Services for the winding up of PHCN Plc in the sum of N929,613,188.94 based on the “No Objection” earlier granted by BPP.,” said the statement.
The BPE stated that the legal consultancy is “to novate the over 500 court cases pending against PHCN to NELMCO and also provide routes of title to purchasers of PHCN non-core assets as well as wind down PHCN among other terms of reference.”
On the payment of N500million to the Office Of The Accountant General Of The Federation As Consultancy, the BPE said “The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) via memos with reference numbers: OAGF/SD/ABJ/247/1V/984 dated October 18, 2013 and OAGF/SD/247/V/1032 dated December 5, 2013, had written to the Office of the Vice-President to be reimbursed N500million as expenses the Office incurred for the handling of the payment of the labour liabilities of the workers of the PHCN.”
These payments included: “for engagement of an IT Consultant who had been conducting integrity and quality checks on data for payment submitted by the BPE; Payment to a Consultant who undertook an IT-based reconciliation between its record of payment and reports received from the paying banks, and Purchase of consumable items like toner, papers, compact disk, flash drive etc needed for the payment exercise”.
Others were: “Cost of adverts on the payment exercise in several national newspapers; and payment of allowances to staff of the OAGF who worked overtime including Saturdays and Sundays to ensure the payments were effected without delay.”
It informed that the OAGF had argued in the memos that the approval of the amount was necessary because of the “meagre Overhead Allocations in their 2013 and 2014 budgets and the exercise had exerted on financial position of the office.”
Based on this, it admitted, the NCP gave approval for the disbursement of the sums.
The BPE however noted that “government does not pay consultancy fees to its agencies as erroneously captured in the report; it only covers the cost of getting the job done.”


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