Investigation: Agency splashes N500m on phony projects in Kano
By Elijah Akoji
Pin Link Limited, 4Cast Engineering Co ltd, and Green Lamp and Sons Nig Ltd were the three companies awarded the multi-million naira project by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), a constituency project designed to be executed in Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency.
NASENI is the only on-purpose-built intervention agency of the Federal Government under the Presidency with a mandate including nurturing an appropriate and dynamic Science and Engineering infrastructure base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization for Nigeria.
The mandate of the agency also includes the development of relevant processes, capital goods, and equipment necessary for job creation, national economic well-being, and progress.
NASENI, in 2020 earmarked N700 million for the construction of projects across Doguwa LGA of Kano State.
The projects include the Construction of one-kilometre Township Road in Dadin-Kowa, Doguwa LGA, budgeted at N100,000,000 million, Completion of Technology Orientation/Multi Purpose Hall with offices in Dadin-Kowa, budgeted at N400,000,000 million, empowerment and training of science teachers and laboratory technicians in modern use of science laboratory in Tudun-Wada/Doguwa Fed Constituency of Kano state, budgeted at N150,000,000 and the Construction of Tudun-Wada – Karefa Road in Doguwa/Tudun Wada Fed Constituency of Kano state at the cost of N450,000,000.
Record of Financial Dealings with Contractors.
The record of payment shows that payment for the Construction of the Technology Orientation
Multi-Purpose Hall with Offices in Dadin-Kowa, Doguwa LGA, Kano State was made to Pin Link
Enterprises between 2020 and 2022. Pin Link Enterprises on the 29th of November 2020, with payment code 1000742469-1, received N91,923,506 million as the first tranch, being part payment for the Construction of Technology Orientation Multi-Purpose Hall with Offices in Dadin-Kowa, Doguwa
LGA, Kano State. A month later, the company with payment code 1000742469-1, 10th of December 2020, was also paid N87,581,561 million for the construction of the same project.
Also, on the 28th of January 2022, Pin Link Enterprises with payment no 1000900374-16 received N27,479,602 million as payment Part Payment for the Completion of Technology Orientation
Multi-Purpose Hall in Doguwa LGA, Kano state, while on the same date with payment no 1000900374-13 received N14,730,173 million all on the same project.
4Cast Engineering Co Ltd, on the 24th November 2022, with payment code 1000735941-2, received N31,308,925 million as Payment for the Continuation of the Construction of Tudun-Wada Karefa Road, Kano State, in the same year, the same company on the 25th of December 2020, also received N18,891,333.88 million with payment code 1000750109-2 as Second Payment for the Continuation
of the Construction of Tudun wada-Karefa Road, Kano State, while on the 18th November 2020, the agency claimed to have made its final payment of N8,749,529.24 million to 4Cast Engineering Co Ltd with payment code 1000734156-4. While Green Lamp and Sons Nig Ltd on the 24th of November 2020 with payment code 1000735941-6, was paid N31,307,937 million as first tranch as Payment for the Construction of Dadin-Kowa Township Road, in Doguwa LGA, Kano State and on the 31st of December 2020, being the last day of the year, the same company with payment code 1000753979-1, received N15,380,394 as Payment for the Continuation of the Construction of Dadin-Kowa Township Road, Kano State.
Residents, Teachers Ignorant of Projects as Residents of Dadin-Kowa expressed frustrations at lack of development in the community.
Ibrahim Tijjani, the Ward Development Community Chairman of Dadin-Kowa, told SOLACEBASE that, “Dadin-Kowa has been short-changed for many years now, often times we hear of different projects being awarded to be executed in Doguwa particularly in Dadin-Kowa, but we hardly see any of this projects.
Ibrahim Tijjani, the Ward Development Community Chairman of Dadin-Kowa
“We are grateful for some of the developments like the renovation of the PHC and some facilities, including some new roads constructed by Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, but in recent times, we have not seen any road project across Dadin-Kowa, and I personally have no idea of any Technology Orientation/Multi-Purpose Hall in Dadin-Kowa. You may have to contact the agency that claimed to have executed these projects, Please we await your feedback so that we can follow up from our end.”
Mohammed Nura, the principal, of Community Junior Secondary School, Doguwa, explained to SOLACEBASE that the school has never had a laboratory technician.
“Doguwa just has 7 political wards, and not all of these words have secondary school, from my knowledge we just have 4 secondary schools, two junior secondary and two senior secondary schools. We never had that opportunity of training as you have asked, maybe the other secondary schools had the opportunity, but not us,” Nura said.
Like Nura, Haruna Faruk, the principal of Government Secondary School in Burji ward denies the existence of any training for laboratory technicians in his school.
Haruna Faruk, the principal of Government Secondary School in Burji
“It is not possible for there to be a training for lab technicians without my knowledge as the principal, the last time we had such invitation was from the state government, sometime in March 2022, and I am still the principal of this school, maybe it happened behind my back, which is not possible,” Faruk said.
Sule Isa is a laboratory technician at Government Secondary School, Burji, and was surprised by the reporter’s inquiry. He also denied knowledge of the training to SOLACEBASE.
Sule Isa laboratory technician at Government Secondary School, Burji
“I never participated in any training of laboratory technicians across Doguwa or a joint training in Tudun-Wada, if I have 2022 is so recent not to have the picture to show as evidence,” Isa said.
Inuwa Mohammed a resident of Karfe community described the Karefa road as a project renovated by the administration of the former governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje.
“This is not a recent project, and I am aware that this road was renovated by the Ganduje administration, when he came for a campaign, he also mentioned it and promised that his party will do more if voted for. So, no one should take glory for what he or she didn’t do,” Mohammed said.
Procurement expert alleges fraud
A project and procurement consultant, Tony Osborg, who has actively studied the Nigeria procurement practice in the award of contracts, described the whole process as a charade. He said most process of awarding contracts by MDAs is fraught with irregularities and that political influence and monetary power are some of the factors that influence contract award and execution
He said; “First, if you take a good look, they mostly don’t do any publication for invitation for pre-qualification, you would see that there is no technical requirement to be shortlisted for the tender. This is all you need to see how flawed the process of project award is in Nigeria by MDAs.
“Another interesting point of note is that the criteria mostly adopted in evaluating the commercial bid remains a mystery. It is usually not the ‘lowest bidder wins. But friends of political associates or even companies owned by the politicians themselves. You will see a company with the highest quotation awarded the lots while those with a lower quotation but are technically competent will be disqualified. At the end of the day, in Nigeria, one obviously needs a political contact to get contracts in Nigeria, not competence.”
Agency Refer Reporter to Speak To Legislator
At the office of the agency located at Idu Industrial Layout, Garki Abuja, Patrick Dallop, the Technical Officer who doubles as the Head of Procurement for the agency, explained that he only had limited information on the contracts.
“As an agency of the federal government, there are processes that must be followed in the award of contracts either zonal intervention projects or projects awarded at the agency’s headquarters, this include the procurement procedures and all of these were followed.
“But on some occasions, we give consideration to the legislator to provide capable companies to be considered while we allow the legislator to also serve as the supervisor or sponsor of the project. So, as for this project, kindly reach out to the legislator, he will provide you with relevant information as regards the project and also give you all the records you may require,” Dallop said.
Lawmaker Keeps Mum
Multiple calls to the lawmaker representing the Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, were not answered while text messages were also not responded to.