The House of Representatives yesterday queried the Provost of the Federal College of Agricultural Produce Technology, Kano, Prof Mohammed Sani Sule, over the breach of the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
The Chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, led by Hon Linus Okorie, expressed dissatisfaction when the committee discovered that a 2012 Toyota Camry car was procured in October last year for N9.6 million instead of a 2017 model of the car actually budgeted for in the 2016 budget.
Speaking during the appraisal of the 2016 and 2017 budget defence session between the college provost and the committee, the lawmakers wonder why the provost opted to procure the car at the cost of N9.6 million in spite of the fact that a bidder who was pre-qualified was not considered after offering to supply the car from Briscoe motors at the low cost of N8.4 million.
Sule who tendered apologies to the committee over the infractions explained that he opted for the highest bidder because the price quoted for the 2017 Camry car was a more realistic figure.
Okorie who was apparently piqued over the issue flatly rejected the explanation offered by Sule adding that the action was tantamount to a breach of both the 2016 Appropriation act and the PPA.
He said: “This is a very serious matter. The national Assembly appropriated monies for you to procure the latest model of Camry but you went for a cheaper model. If you felt otherwise, all you would have done was to revert to the committee so that we can give you a waiver to make amends. You have acted outside the law. You got a price of N8.4 million from Briscoe yet you paid a consultant an addition of N1.2 million in excess. This is clearly a waste of public resources. “
Also reacting, member of the committee, Hon Denis Nnamdi Agbo added a new twist to the issue noting that there was no way 2016 Camry car would have been procured at the amount of N9.6 million.
He asked: “Did you actually buy the car? Was it your car that you modified so that you can put the money in your pocket because as at 2017, a brand new 2017 Camry did not cost N10 million. I suspect you bought this vehicle as a Tokunbo (fairly used). Even if it is a 2017 Camry car, you can’t get it at that price.”
The committee also found Sule wanting in the award of a contract to the same contractor for the construction of a structure for the sum of N42 million as against N37 million submitted by another pre-qualified