Labour Ministry Refuses Information On N500 Million Keke NAPEP Contracts

 

KEKE NAPAP

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has refused to provide information on two major contracts awarded in the last days of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency for a youth empowerment programme in Benue State.

The International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, on November 16 wrote the Labour ministry, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, requesting for details of the contracts awards worth nearly N500 million “for the procurement and distribution of 600 tricycles and 400 passenger tricycles (keke NAPEP) in Benue North-west Senatorial District.”

Ten days after the request was made, the ministry has failed to provide the information, contrary to the FOI Act which stipulates a seven – day time limit for responses to enquiries.

Rather than reply to the request or provide the information demanded, the ICIR got an email on November 23, from an assistant director at the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, I.S. Gamagira, with an attached letter to the Minister of Labour and Productivity merely indicating that the funds were for constituency projects in Benue State.

The letter was apparently in response to queries from the minister’s office arising from the ICIR’s FOI Act request but it contained no information concerning the contract and was addressed to the minister. The letter referred to attached documents which were not included in the email sent to the ICIR.

In the ICIR letter, the Centre had asked for details of the contracts awarded to Messrs Yashe Trading Company and Messrs 4BY4 Technology Limited at N283,500,000.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty Three million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and N189,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Eight Nine million Naira) respectively, for the “procurement and distribution of 600 Tricycles with open Trailer Body to empower youths and farmers in Benue North West Senatorial District” and “Procurement and distribution of 400 Passenger Tricycles (KEKE NAPEP) for youths empowerment in Benue North-West Senatorial District”.

The contracts were approved for award by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on March 18, 2015, shortly before the expiration of Former President Jonathan’s tenure

In the letter to the Labour ministry signed on November 17, 2015 by Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director of the Centre, the Centre asked the ministry for, among others, copies of procurement plans and information, including needs assessment; evidence of advertisements of invitation for bids published in at least two national dailies apart from the federal tenders journal; and a copy of the standard bidding documents that was issued to all bidders with respect to the contracts.

Other documents requested are letter of notification of contract award, signed final contract document, documentation showing schedule of payments, documentation showing release of contract sums, documentation that included the list of beneficiaries of the contracts, and documentation on the current status of the project






     

     

    The Centre has since sent a reminder to the ministry to notify it of the expiration of the mandatory seven days, as prescribed by the Act but it has received no reply.

    The ICIR has also formally written a request letter to the NDE, apparently the implementing agency, asking for information on the contracts.

    At the NDE, Gamagira, the assistant director who sent the email to the Centre told our reporter that the agency sent the information we requested directly to the minster because our original letter was addressed to him and not to the agency. All the information requested, he stated, had been provided to the minister.

    The Keke NAPEP contracts are just two of more than thirty contracts awarded by the Jonathan administration between March and May when it left office.

     

     

     

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