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Minister Defends Aviation Contract Award
The minister of aviation, Stella Oduah, on Monday debunked accusations that contracts for the remodeling and rehabilitation of airports in the country were awards without recourse to due process or shrouded in secrecy.
Oduah said none of the 22 airports contracts awarded by the ministry could be linked with corruption as they were done within the provisions of the law.
Speaking through her special adviser on media, Joe Obi, the minister said all contracts were awarded in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007.
“It would be misleading to insinuate that the contracts were awarded without normal and due process, through a Selective Tendering Process. To be sure, all contracts in the ministry for the remodeling of the airports and other critical infrastructure and equipment followed due processes,” she said.
Oduah stressed that the selective tendering process which was used to award the contracts is a lawful procurement procedure as enunciated in the Act, noting that the decision to opt for this method was informed by the fact that the present administration met aviation infrastructure, especially the terminals, in a dilapidated state.
According to her, a state of emergency was therefore required to rehabilitate the infrastructures and the selective tendering provision in the Act was the only option to follow.
She said further that security-related contracts were not announced because they were not subject to open competitive bidding in order not to compromise the entire process is not.
The minister also said that the security equipment ordered by the ministry was not an off-the-shelf item but is custom-made and manufactured specifically to suit the purposes of the ministry.
“We re-state that all contracts were awarded in accordance with the provisions of the PPA and received Certificates of No Objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement,” Oduah said.