24 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government has ordered the immediate cancellation of the tendering process for the engagement of pre-shipment inspection and monitoring agents for oil and gas sector.
The The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the decision was necessitated by the receipt of numerous complaints and a petition regarding alleged irregularities in the process.
In June 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari mandated the Federal Ministry of Finance, under the then Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Anastasia Nwoabia, to commence the process of engaging pre-shipment inspection and monitoring agents. Upon the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), a selective tendering process was initiated under which 65 companies were selected and invited to bid.
However, since the inception of the process, he said numerous complaints were sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance, suggesting that the method by which the 65 companies were selected was faulty and lacked transparency.
Additionally, a formal petition was received by the BPP making specific allegations about the process.
Director in charge of Press, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Marshall Gundu, said that under public procurement rules, the receipt of a formal petition requires a suspension of the tendering process to allow an investigation. However, in this instance, the minister has taken the decision to cancel.
“The sheer volume of complaints and the wide range of sources they emanated from had raised a sufficient level of concerns around the process to warrant a full cancellation rather than a suspension.
“This administration stands for transparency and accountability and it is, therefore, important that all procurement and tendering exercises must be undertaken in accordance with best practices,” the minister said.