(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Nigerian Senate’s quest to lay bare the quandary surrounding the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contracts in four phases at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is a laudable move in every ramification; one that should be commended by all and sundry.
Consequent to the summoning of the former Managing Director of FMBN, Mallam Gimba Yau Kumo, by the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, following a query raised in a report by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) against the FMBN, to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the irregular award of the contracts in question, public confidence in the legislature will be boosted.
According to the 2015-2018 report by the AGF, currently under scrutiny by the senate panel, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97. It was also observed from the examination of payment documents that the contractor was overpaid in the sum of N118,717,892.72 that resulted from irregular addition of five percent withholding tax in the bill of quantity on each of the four phases of the contract.
In reaction to the query, Ahmed Dangiwa, current Managing Director of FMBN, had said that the contract was awarded by the previous management, adding that his leadership had made effort to correct the anomalies in the contract. Not satisfied with the explanation of the current Managing Director of the bank, the senate committee chairman had asked the former managing director of the bank to appear before the panel to offer more explanations on the contract.
AGENDA WATCHDOG hereby commends the Senate Public Accounts Committee for querying the award of these contracts. The 1999 Constitution generally vests the legislature with the authority to make laws, although this responsibility is not limited to making laws as it performs other functions, including that of oversight.The oversight functions serve a variety of purposes among which are to keep the executive establishment responsible and accountable, to promote rationality and efficiency in the formulation and administration of public policy, among others.
There is need to intensify and sustain the current trend by the senate committee with the cooperation of the various anti corruption agencies in the country in stemming the tide of corruption in the various agencies and parastatals of government.