SUBEB Cross River Awards Contracts to self and Cronies

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Cross River SUBEB chair, Dr Odey

Daniel Agbor|8 November 2016

Few weeks ago, the Nigerian Chronicles published an unending list, the first of its kind of over 200 jobs , 237 jobs to be precised which SUBEB advertised for tender. This was applauded as a welcome development as many heralded development touching the lives of many in the rural area. Be that as it may, the contract as contained in the tender is practically lopsided and very bias.

Those it is believed that so many consideration were given before the said schools were picked and singled for development. Much of the schools selected were mostly from the Northern Senatorial District with a selected few in the Central and two or three in the South.

As is the stock in trade with SUBEB and it's notoriety in recent times in financial misappropriation and sundry falsifications ranging from the Frank Ayade saga to the delayed in BECE examination and SS2 Mock Examination. The First School Leaving Certificate Examination. Ministry of Education claiming lack of funds, the Speaker of the State House saying over a live programme that he was unaware that FSLC had not been written.

Amidst all these dramas, the Dr. Odey's led SUBEB went ahead to award juices contracts to themselves and their cronies deceiving unsuspecting contractor over a non existent contracts. In a bid to hide their game committed so many flaws that is visible even to the blind. How desperate could this people be. It's even more pathetic that their drive for stomach infrastructure has overwhelmed the collective interest of the masses.

The Flaws.
1. The Cross River State procurement law No. 1 of 2012 should have been quoted in the advert being a procurement process carried out by the State Universal Education Board and not procurement act of 2007 which applies to award by the FG.
2. Being an open competitive bidding process of public procurement of works, all interested vendors should be provided with equal simultaneous information and opportunity for the process in order to conform with the provision of the law in a manner of transparency, equitable accountability and promotion of competition. But this was not the case in the advert.
3. This procurement should clearly be a 2 stage process as stipulated in the law in view of the large numbers of lots to be procured starting from the pre-qualification before requesting for tenders from the pre-qualified vendors. This was not clearly spelt out for the intending vendor's understanding.
4. SUBEB did not include as part of its pre-qualification requirements that intending contractors should present evidence of similar jobs done before except for LOTIA. This pre-supposes that there is flagrant disregard for the competencies of intending vendors and thus poor quality job delivery with little or no monitoring evaluation/supervision should be expected at the end of the projects against the provisions of the law. And this equally portends that Lot A already has a vendor marked to carry out the job without due diligence checks.
5. From the fore-going, it appears that SUBEB already has a list of waiting contractors to be awarded these 237 jobs as it's advert does not adhere to the procurement principles of transparency, value for money, accountability, competition, fair play and an unbiased umpire. The advert does not indicate expected tender fees or charges to be collected and for what purpose. This advert and procurement should be cancelled and proper procurement procedure advance that allows for open competitiveness be followed for due diligence, probity and in accordance with the provisions of the CRS procurement law No. 1 2012.

The foolhardinesss being played in this administration in every facet is frightening yet carried out with such mastery and sophistry that could shame the Italian mafia. What could provoked this high degree of maladministration? The Commissioner for Education in the State, Dr. Etta has even thrown caution to the winds such that every political position is accompanied with an edifice. He is currently building a very magnificent one around Lemna road/Parliamentary Extension.

This is happening when primary school teachers are being owed months in salaries, allowances and other entitlements. Whence lie the future of our children? This is just a deliberate and conscious effort to revolve the present elites and their children within the corridors of power so that the cancerworms that is eating the very fabric of existence remains rooted and unweeded.

This is a clarion call to stakeholders in education in the state to rise up and challenge this glorified decay in other to root out this decadence.

Daniel Agbor
Is a Social Commentator