© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
BPP Denies Giving BPE Approval For N929 million PHCN Contract
By Samuel Malik
The scandal involving the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has continued to worsen, with the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, trading blames over the award of a contract to a legal firm for the liquidation of the company.
BPE claimed it was right to award a contract, valued at N929.6 million, to Messrs J.K. Gadzama & Co for legal consultancy because it got a “No Objection” certificate from the BPP.
However, Thomas Odemwingie, BPP’s head of media, has denied that his agency issued such certificate, saying the certificate referred to by the BPE was withdrawn and cancelled.
“On the advice of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation the BPP had earlier on September 22nd 2014, rejected the request for the issuance of certificate of “No Objection” to contract award. The BPP Certificate Ref. BPP/S13/VOLVIII/190 dated 2nd September 2013, referred to by the BPE in favour of the legal firm was withdrawn and cancelled,” Odemwingie said in a statement made available to the icirnigeria.org.
According to Odemwingie, following its cancelation of the certificate, the Attorney General replied and asked the BPP to reconsider its position and re-issue the certificate but it refused. The BPP “approved only the engagement of Messrs. Ora Egbunike and Associates for the asset valuation services in the sum of N517,694,100,” the BPP spokesperson said.
“This approval for the engagement of Messrs Ora Egbunike and Associates was subsequently approved by the Federal Executive Council. There was no approval, to our knowledge, by either the President or Federal Executive Council for the engagement of the legal services,” he added.
According to the Public Procurement Act, a contract awarded by any government agency can only be valid when the BPP awards a certificate of “No Objection.”