The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has described the statements credited to the Bureau of Public Procurement as regards inflated contracts in his ministries as misleading.
The former Lagos state governor stated this in a statement through his Special Adviser on Communications, Hakeem Bello.
Fashola asked that the BPP should make its rates public.
“The attention of the Minister of Works and Housing has been drawn to headlines from reports credited to the BPP about its having ‘saved over N26bn’ for the Federal Government in the year 2018 by revising down ‘inflated’ contract sums by government contractors, some of which emanated from the erstwhile Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing.
“Being a department of the same government, ordinarily this should not warrant a reply. However, the misleading nature of the reporting in the media and the statements credited to BPP compel a response for the purposes of clarification and enlightenment of the public,” statement reads.
Fashola added that it was not possible for BPP to save money when no contract could be awarded until BPP certified that it had “no objection.”
He said “Therefore there was no inflated contract because BPP clearly stated that it reduced the costs, and according to BPP she ‘saved over N26bn.’
“And this is the heart of the matter because BPP’s ‘savings’ can only be a subjective assessment based on rates quoted by contractors, reviewed by the ministry and sent to BPP for certification.”
“Until BPP publishes its rates which the then Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has demanded in writing, there can be no objective basis for determining whether any savings were indeed made if only BPP knows its own rates for procurement.”
“This is the field of quantity surveyors and construction economists, and the Minister of Works and Housing has not made any secret about his call for a revision of the Public Procurement Act to resolve this and other gaps in the law,” Fashola stated.
Recall that it was reported that BPP saved N26bn by reducing 86 certificates of “No Objection’’ contracts totalling N1.421tn to N1.394tn.
BPP recorded the highest reduction of N22.22bn at the Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing from a request of N877.40bn.