Northern Nigerian Breaking News

How Kano lawmaker’s company allegedly collected over N200m for contract not executed

By Lukman Abdulmalik

Between 2018 and 2023, records have shown that the sum of N41,515,645,264 billion was budgeted for the Federal College of Education, Bichi, and the National Orthopedic Hospital, Dala, Kano State for the construction of different projects. While the FCE Bichi got ₦20,027,209,363, the National Orthopedic Hospital Dala got ₦21,488,435,90.

Within those five years over ₦310,968,397.07 worth of projects in Kano were awarded to Asasco Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Honorable Lawal Shehu, a state lawmaker representing Bichi Constituency since 2019. But investigations have shown that several of the projects paid for were not executed.

Asasco Nigeria Limited was incorporated in Kano, with registration number 339339. It was registered on August 7, 1998, and its current status is unknown. It listed Hon. Shehu as one of the Directors, along with Nuhu Sadauki, Lawan Ahmed, Musa Sanusi while Miyetti Miyetti Nominees Limited is the Secretary.

On November 21, 2021, the company received ₦11,810,930.23 from the Federal College of Education, Bichi for the construction of a college clinic. However two years after the company received payment, the project is yet to be executed.

elsamad new

A visit to FCE Bichi revealed that the school does not have any newly constructed clinic, as only the old clinic is still there. Despite the fact that the existing school clinic is in good shape, the school administration believes that it should be extended because it benefits both students and inhabitants of Bichi.

Abdullahi Kabir, a student at FCE Bichi, said the school clinic is moderately equipped, but when there is a malaria outbreak or any of the common diseases and they need to admit patients, the inadequacy of the clinic becomes obvious. No enough bed spaces and equipment.

Existing school clinic FCE Bichi

Existing school clinic, FCE Bichi

Other Projects awarded to Asasco Nigeria Limited by FCE

Incorporated as a construction company, Asasco Nigeria Limited was awarded several contracts in Bichi and Dala LGAs of Kano State.

Read Also: Investigation: How govt neglect Kano Community amidst spread of hepatitis

According to govspend.ng on December 5, 2023, FCE Bichi awarded and paid ₦6,186,046.51  and ₦14,198,744.19  for renovation of the science complex. A visit by SolaceBase discovered that a shoddy renovation was executed as only some parts of the building were painted while other parts were patched.

Shabby Renovation of Science Complex FCE Bichi

Shabby Renovation of Science Complex, FCE Bichi

On December 27, 2023, FCE Bichi also awarded Asasco Nigeria Limited ₦8,810,288.69 contract for the renovation of the students’ hostel while on September 12, 2021, the company secured the sum of ₦6,999,069.78 to furnish students’ hostels. Furthermore, FCE Bichi, on November 25, 2020, paid a sum of ₦5,249,302.33 for the renovation of students’ hostels.

Asasco also received the sum of ₦8,134,708.63 on December 3, 2019, for the renovation of the student hostel. On December 20, 2018, a sum of  ₦9,800,428.00 was awarded to the company to renovate school hostels.

Renovated Students Hostel

Renovated Students Hostel

Projects Awarded by Orthopaedic Dala

Data gathered on govspend.ng revealed that Asasco Nigeria Limited was paid to build eight theatres in the National Orthopaedic Hospital Dala, but not one of it was executed. On October 7, 2021, the Hospital awarded Asasco the sum of ₦11,354,367.88 to construct a theatre in the hospital. Also on  April 9, 2020, the Hospital awarded ₦17,544,628.06 for the construction of another theatre, and another payment of ₦11,032,067.07 on April 4, 2020,  for the construction of a theatre.

Read Also: Inside Abuja community where residents share contaminated water with cattle, without access to healthcare

Furthermore, the company on December 10, 2019, received ₦31,176,740.80 for the construction of a theatre, and yet another ₦46,449,872.41 on October 27, 2019, for the construction of a new theatre.

The Hospital again in January and September 2019 awarded construction of three new theatres at the cost of ₦57,431,760.75.

In 2018 the lawmaker’s company received ₦20,140,000.00 million for the construction of a new theater. Abubakar Abdullahi, a management staff of the hospital disclosed that for more than 6 years they had no new construction of any theatre in the hospital.

National Orthopaedic hospital dala

National Orthopaedic hospital dala

On May 28, 2021, the Ministry of Health, through the National Orthopaedic Hospital Dala, awarded ₦22,824,369.74 which served as a 15% mobilization for the construction of the General Outpatient Department, GOPD. Records obtained by Solacebase showed that the last tranche of payment amounting to ₦22,600,500.00 was paid to Asasco Nigeria Limited on 13, September 2021.

A site visit by SolaceBase confirmed that the GOPD was fully constructed and equipped.

GOPD Dala

GOPD, Dala

MDAs Violates PPL

Regarding these contracts, Hon. Shehu clearly breached the law as there is an obvious case of conflict of interest. By using a company in which he has an interest or owns to execute a public contract, Hon. Shehu breached Section 57 (9) of the Public Procurement Act 2007, states: “Every public officer involved directly or indirectly in matters of public procurement and disposal of assets shall:

Read Also: Terrorized by insecurity, denied quality healthcare: Inside Zamfara communities where the sick, pregnant women live in fear of death

(a) divest himself of any interest or relationships which are actually or potentially inimical or detrimental to the best interest of the government and the underlying principles of this Act; and

(b) not engage or participate in any commercial transaction involving the federal government, its ministries, extra-ministerial departments, corporations where his capacity as a public officer is likely to confer any unfair advantage – pecuniary or otherwise on him or any person directly related to him.”

Also, Section 57 (10) states: “Any person engaged in the public procurement and disposal of assets who has assumed or is about to assume a financial or other business outside business relationship that might involve a conflict of interest, must immediately declare to the authorities any actual or potential interest.”

Furthermore, Section 57 (11) says, “Such a declaration shall be given such consideration at the relevant level as is necessary so that, where it is seen that remedial action is taken, a conflict of interest is present.

On March 22, 2024, several calls were placed by this reporter to Hon. Shehu, but he didn’t pick his calls and didn’t call back. Furthermore, on March 28,  2024, a text message was sent requesting him to explain why the construction of one clinic and eight theatres at FCE Bichi was not done despite full payment.

However, Hon. Shehu did not respond to multiple requests for comments.

This report is produced with support from Civic Media Lab (CML).

 

Comments are closed.