Special Report: Ecological Fund Office Denies Allegations Of Impropriety


Contract awards for the execution of projects at the Ecological Fund Office, EFO, are done in conformity with the country’s procurement law and are subject to the provisions of Section 42.1(c) of Public Procurement Act, 2007.

Owing to the nature of its assignment, the EFO normally applies the selective tendering method to shorten the long procurement procedure in order to curtail further environmental degradation and mitigate the suffering of the beneficiaries of the projects, the Deputy Director of Information, Dr. Joel Oruche said in a statement to deny allegations of impropriety over the management of the Ecological Fund Office contract award process.

Part of the road under constructional
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“EFO wishes to state categorically that there is no impropriety in the contract award process. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation does not direct the Permanent Secretary, EFO, on what action to take concerning contract awards. Indeed, the SGF does not get involved in the procurement process at EFO and therefore, does not dictate who gets any contract.

“The contract awards in EFO follow due process of the Nigerian Procurement Law. Selective Tendering Method is usually employed to shorten the long procurement procedure in order to curtail further environmental degradation and mitigate the suffering of the beneficiaries of the projects. This is in line with the provisions of Section 42.1(c) of Public Procurement Act, 2007,” Dr. Oruche explained.

The sight of the road under construction

Specifically, he said the erosion control project starting from Bauchi-Ningi road junction terminates inside the main campus of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. The EFO acted based on a request for intervention from the management of the university. The scope of work was originally prepared in 2010 and comprised construction of drains and culverts, road improvement works, pavement of about 3.2km into the main campus and stone pitching in some areas.

“The road was never designed as a dual carriageway as alleged and the request from the university did not include provision of street light. That does not fall within the mandate of EFO,” the statement emphasised.

The Vice Chancellor, ATBU, Prof Mohammed Abdulazeez has written the EFO to express gratitude for the intervention even as he confirmed that the project has curtailed the perennial flooding and erosion which hitherto made the road to the university impassable.

Prof. Mohammed also confirmed that the original design for the job was a single lane and that the university did not ask the EFO to provide street light along the route.

The contract for the project was awarded by the EFO Tenders Board in October, 2017 at the cost of N456,456,105.02. The project was supervised by the consultant and a team of engineers from EFO and was completed in August, 2018. The pictorial images of the project at the time of completion are published along with this story.

The constructed portion of the road

The statement also denied any form of impropriety at the EFO during contract evaluation and award. “For the avoidance of doubt, there has never been any form of looting in the Ecological Fund Office now or under the former SGF. The problem of the former SGF had nothing to do with Ecological Fund”, it emphasised.

On the final cost of the project, the EFO said it is far from N500 million earlier published. “The estimated cost of the intervention originally forwarded to the EFO in 2010 by the university was N360m. This estimate required a revision owing to inflationary rates, the omission of value added tax and consultancy cost. Between 2010 and October 2017 when the contract was awarded by the EFO Tenders Board, further degradation had occurred at the site thereby affecting the original scope of the design and its final cost,” said Dr. Oruche.

He said allegations of manipulation are unfounded because “all EFO project costs are subjected to review by the Bureau of Public Procurement before award. There is therefore no inflation of contract sum