June 4, 2014
In an allegation that may make nonsense of the hype and fanfare generated by the renovation of some general hospitals in Kwara state, the Peoples Democratic Party has accused the Kwara Government of inflating the cost of the contract for the rehabilitations of the newly commissioned five general hospitals in the state.
The party said the contracts, which was allegedly originally awarded for N1.3billion Naira, has now being jerked up by a staggering N2.7billion, thereby fueling speculations of underhand dealings and graft.
In a statement released to this medium today by the party’s publicity secretary, Mr. Rex Kola Olawoye, the PDP alerted the Kwara public to what it called the inflated cost of the rehabilitations and equipment of the five general hospitals in Ilorin, Kiaiama, Share, Offa and Omu-Aran, as against the budgetary allocations and publicly quoted cost.
The party alleged that whereas the state government, in its 2012 budgetary proposal, pegged the contract cost at N1.3billiobn, the announcement by the governor yesterday that it spent a whopping N3.7billion, amounted to an inflation of the contract cost. The party described this as an ‘impossible figure’ and asked the APC-led government of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, to urgently give clarifications over the discrepancies in the cost variations.
“Our party recalls that the Kwara State Governor had in his budget speech delivered on the floor of the Kwara State House of Assembly on Monday, December 19th, 2011 declared that the contract for the remodeling, renovation and equipment of the five general hospitals would cost the state the sum of N1.3billion.
“And by way of further corroboration, the government had on the 5th February, 2012, through its Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development, Chief Tunde Adeoti and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Investment Policy and Strategies, Mr. Yomi Ogunsola, that the remodeling, renovation and equipment of the five hospitals would cost the state N1.3billion. Both Chief Adeoti and Ogunsola gave this explanation at a press briefing, which held at the Government House, Ilorin, as parts of the government’s desperate efforts to justify the acquisition of the N10billion loan from the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).
“But we are alarmed that instead of sticking to the widely publicized and budgeted N1.3billion price tag, the Kwara State Governor, Mr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday, during the commissioning of one of the hospitals in Offa Local Government Area, gave an impossible sum of N3.7billion as the ‘actual’ cost of the said renovation. In mathematical terms, this is almost 200% price variation between the original figure and the new figure being brandished by the governor!
This then begs the questions: What has so drastically changed in the economy of Nigeria between February 2012 and May, 2014 that could have warranted such an unacceptable contract cost variation? Assuming, without slightly conceding that the government and its contractors were constrained to vary the contract sums for any reason whatsoever, why did the APC-led government fail to capture this much in either the subsequent 2013 budget or a supplementary budget? Does this inflationary abracadabra explain why the government did not subject the award of the contract to open tenders and competitive bidding as required by laws? Is this new regime of heist and recklessness indicative of the assimilation of the legendary culture of waste and contract inflation that virtually all APC-controlled states are reputed for as was the case of the controversial Makola bridge in Ibadan?”
The Kwara PDP thereby threatened to dragged the state government before the Economic an