Presidency blames BPE for cancelled Manitoba power contract

16 November 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Nigerian government has blamed one of its parastatals, the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, for the infractions that led to the revocation of the the management contract awarded to Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International,  for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Disclosing this in Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, denied that the cancellation of the contract had caused a division between President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who chairs the National Council on Privatisation, NCP.

Abati maintained that the power contract was awarded by BPE and not NCP, adding that the BPE awarded the contract in contravention of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

“The BPE has no power to approve a management contract, according to the provision of Section 16 sub section 4 of the 2007 Public Procurement Act. That section says that the BPE must obtain a certificate of no objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement,” the presidential spokesman said.

He continued: “Another section of the Act says that certain contracts must be approved by the Federal Executive Council. The management contract in question is $23.6m, which is above the approved threshold of BPE. The vice-president is a member of FEC.

“For the BPE to go ahead and approve that contract simply means that due process was not followed. It is a matter of due process, a matter of best practice; it is not a personality matter. The infraction was committed by the BPE.”

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