An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Aliyu. E. Aliyu, yesterday claimed that some contracts awarded at the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) were not approved by a Parastatals Tenders Board (PTB).
He was testifying in the trial of former NIMASA Director-General (DG) Raymond Omatseye, who was charged with an alleged contract scam, an offence he denied.
Aliyu, who works at the Bureau of Public Procurement, said a standard threshold is applicable to all parastatals, including NIMASA.
He said the chief executive officer, who is also the parastatal’s chief accounting officer, is responsible for the threshold’s implementation.
The threshold, he said, applies to goods and for works, adding that a DG has a threshold of less than N2.5million for goods and less than N5million for works.
Aliyu said there is a separate threshold for a PTB, which is N2.5million and less than N15million for goods, and N5million and above, but less than N250million for works.
He said: “If the contract is above N2.5million, the PTB has the authority to award the contracts. The sub-committee of the tenders’ board evaluates the bids submitted, after which the board approves it.”
According to him, the Tenders’ Board meets to consider bids, adding that the decision to approve any contract is taken collectively by members.
Aliyu said the board’s approval is captured in the minutes of the meeting, but that there was no such minutes in the case of contracts said to have been awarded by Omatseye.
Asked by EFCC prosecutor Godwin Obla (SAN) to go through some exhibits of contract documents, Aliyu said there was no board minutes among them.
The witness, who was shown a memo purportedly sent to the board of directors seeking ‘anticipatory approval’ for the supply of Blackberry smart phones, said the board has no role to play in the procurement process.
“The word ‘anticipatory’ is not part of procurement,” Aliyu said.
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned further hearing on the matter to March 10.
[Joseph Jibueze, The Nation]