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Tracka questions David Umahi on N9.3bn paid Microfinance Bank for 62 road constructions – Tracka

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Payment made to Fims Microfinance Bank by Ministry of Works

Tracka has uncovered a total of N9.3 billion paid by the Federal Ministry of Works to FIMS Microfinance Bank Limited between June and December 2023 for 62 projects, including the construction of road projects across the country, amongst others.

Some of the projects uncovered by Tracka which were published on its Govspend platform, include the payment of N1.4 billion in September 2023 for the construction of Yaba-Yangoje Road in the Federal Capital Territory; the payment of N1.2 billion in October 2023 for the rehabilitation of a 2km road from Oriawo-Boroboro-Oke-Medina School of Science Road in Atiba, Oyo state; the payment of N1.2 billion in October 2023 for the rehabilitation of Kosobo-Awe Junction Road in Oyo East LGA in Oyo state; and the payment of N1.2 billion between August and November 2023 for the rehabilitation of Ejule-Otukpo Road in Benue State to mention a few.

According to its mission statement and the information on its website, FIMS Microfinance Bank Ltd. was incorporated on December 11, 2009, to conduct microfinance businesses/services with a certificate of incorporation number RC 858800.

“As a financial institution, the award of road construction contracts amongst others to this company is a violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007, specifically s.16 (6) (a) (i), (iii), and (iv) as stated, “All bidders in addition to requirements contained in any solicitation documents shall: (a) possess the necessary: (i) professional and technical qualifications to carry out particular procurements; (ii) financial capability; (iii) equipment and other relevant infrastructure; (iv) shall have adequate personnel to perform the obligations of the procurement contracts,” Tracka said in a statement on Thursday.

Dave Umahi, Minister of Works

Chronicle NG reports that Tracka is BudgIT’s service delivery promotion platform, which allows citizens to collaborate, track, and give feedback on public projects in their communities.

“We request that the Honourable Minister of Works, David Umahi, tenders an explanation to Nigerians on how these repeated violations and infractions occurred in his office. In addition, we call on the Bureau of Public Procurement to review the transactions for violating the Public Procurement Act 2007 and serve appropriate sanctions for breaches where identified.

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BudgIT’s Country Director, Gabriel Okeowo, speaking on the gross mismanagement of public funds and blatant disregard for public procurement laws, emphasized that public funds should be treated with the highest level of caution and a sense of responsibility to the collective interest of Nigeria and its people.

“We have submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) letter to the Minister (Umahi), seeking the procurement documents related to these payments to assess whether the transactions complied with the law and anticipate a response within seven days as the FOI Act mandates,” Okeowo said.

“We call on the anti-graft agencies—the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC—to question and probe these payments and prosecute the erring officers. We also call on Nigerians to pay attention to the disbursement of public funds using www.govspend.ng and report any irregularities,” Tracka’s statement said.

Here are the details of the sixty-two payments documented by Tracka.

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