Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization known for its #FollowKwaraMoney activities, has dragged the Federal Ministry of Environment to the Ilorin Zonal Office of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a 2017 Constituency project in Sapati-Afon road facilitated by Sen. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. This 6th Petition is in addition to 5 other petitions previously written by ENetSuD to EFCC and ICPC on 2017 Constituency projects of Federal Government in Kwara State. The Petition, signed by its Coordinator (Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef) and submitted to EFCC on 20th Octover, 2019, reads thus:
As a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization (CSO) monitoring how public funds are spent through our #FollowKwaraMoney initiative, ENetSuD wrote series of Freedom of Information (FOI) letters to the Ministry of Environment who executed the project to request for the financial and technical details of the project. In addition to the correspondences exchanged with the Ministry, ENetSuD Directorate of Investigation and Public Petition (through its Technical and Evaluation committee) also visited the project site to do technical re-assessment and re-measurement, so as to compare the details provided by the Ministry with what is actually executed on site.
RESPONSE FROM FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
Responding to ENetSuD’s queries via a letter referenced FMENV/EFCZM/1023/I/17 and dated 25th February, 2019, the Ministry provided the project’s Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME), Engineering drawings and the Interim Payment Certificate, and further stated that:
i. the project BEME has 4 components: Preliminary and General (Bill no 1), Site Clearing (Bill no 2), Earthworks (Bill no 3) and Concrete Works (Bill no 4);
ii. Bill 1 amount is ₦5,150,000, Bill 2 amount is ₦3,330,000, Bill 3 amount is ₦19,770,194, Bill 4 amount is ₦64,297,000, and the 5% VAT is ₦4,627,359;
iii. the project contract sum in the Bill summary (including 5% VAT) as derived from the total of the Bills 1-4 is ₦97,174,553;
iv. the project was awarded to BUKAS Engineering Limited (Address: No. 8, Muhammad Sanusi Street, Gwarinpa, Abuja; Phone: 08033639489) on the 27th December, 2017 who was certified for the payment of ₦91,824,385 by the Ministry; and
v. the project was 95% completed
Bills 1-3 are provisional and are not assessable after completion, thus our re-assessment was based on Bill 4 only (which is physically assessable on site). We found that the total money paid to the Contractor is questionable considering the work done on the project site, as our re-assessment and verification of Bill 4 disagree with the reality met on the project site. Table 1 below shows the quantity of work reported to have been done by the Ministry and the real quantity found on site by ENetSuD. The table also shows the real amount calculated by ENetSuD (derived by the multiplication of the real quantity met on site by ENetSuD and the Ministry official rate for each item).
It is worthy of note that the appropriateness of the unit rate used is questionable as the description in item 4.03 differs from 4.08, yet the same rate was used. Therefore, ENetSuD evaluated item 4.08 using ₦37,000 unit rate for only the concrete work and only the concrete quantity is hereby recorded in item 4.8 accordingly, while formwork and reinforcement of item 4.08 were evaluated separately and added to items 4.02 (formwork) and 4.04 (reinforcement) respectively.
BILL OF ENGINEERING MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION (BEME)
TABLE 1: CONCRETE WORKS (BILL NO 4)
|DESCRIPTION||QUANTITY REPORTED BY THE MINISTRY||REAL QUANTITY MET ON SITE BY ENetSuD||UNIT||MINISTRY OFFICIAL RATE (₦)
REPORTED BY THE MINISTRY (₦)
GENERATED BY ENetSuD (₦)
|4.01||Provide and place weak concrete grade 10 for blinding to foundation of structures including drains, chambers and drop spillways (thickness not less than 50mm)
|4.02||Provide sawn formwork to vertical faces of drains and soffits of box culverts
|4.03||Provide and place reinforced concrete grade 15 to storm water drains, outlet structures and chambers
|4.04||Provide, cut, shape and place high tensile steel reinforcements (10 – 16 mm) in RC structural elements as shown in the drawing or as directed by the Engineer (10 mm diameter reinforcement bar was found at the site and used as the reinforcement)
|4.05||Construct reinforced concrete box culvert in grade 20 concrete at designated points as shown in drawing and as directed. Rate inclusive of formwork and reinforcement
|85||Not found on site||m3||40,000||3,400,000||0|
|4.06||Construct reinforced concrete ring culverts in grade 20 concrete at designated points as shown in drawing and as directed. Rate inclusive of formwork and reinforcement
|50||Not found on site||Lm||42,500||2,125,000||0|
|Provide and place 300mm stone mansory (pitched) laid in cement mortar (1:3) mix at the channel embarkments to achieve slope protection as directed
|100||Not found on site||m3||4,500||450,000||0|
|4.08||Provide and place reinforced concrete access slabs in grade 15 concrete at designated locations as directed by the ER. Rate to include formwork and reinforcement
|TOTAL FOR BILL NO. 4 FEATURED ON SITE||64,297,000||43,532,575|
Thus, the real value of structures physically found on site based on bill 4 is ₦43,532,575 instead of ₦64,297,000 claimed by the Ministry, which translates to an inflation with sum of ₦20,764,425.
- Due to the fact that some structures (600 x 600 x 100 rectangular drain, 700 x 700 x 150 rectangular drain, reinforced concrete box culvert, reinforced concrete ring culverts, stone mansory and reinforced concrete access slabs) provided for in Bill 4 and Engineering drawings were not found on site, and the real cost ENetSuD arrived at for the available structures as per Bill 4 is ₦43,532,575 instead of ₦64,297,000 claimed by the Ministry; the costs of other Bills 1-3 that could not be assessed are also questionable.
- How the contractor was certified for payment of ₦91,824,385 despite the non-commensurate work on the site is not understood and needs further investigation.
- All the components of the BEME should be revisited in relation to the executed works on the site, as we are of the conviction that the project execution is characterized by inflation of contract sum.
As a CSO, we do not have power to prosecute. However, it is our responsibility to promote Transparency and Accountability by reporting perceived or alleged corruption cases to appropriate institutions like you. Based on our explanations and the documents attached herewith; you are kindly requested to:
- investigate the non-execution of the project in compliance with the BEME, overpayment of the contractor by the Ministry relative to work done, and the resulting inflation of contract sum;
- prosecute the offenders based on your investigation;
- return the contractor to site to utilize all the money received for commensurate project execution; and
- do such other things you consider necessary to ensure that Kwara money works for Kwarans.
While awaiting your response and prompt actions, please accept the assurances of our warm regards.
NB: Attached herewith are our correspondences with Federal Ministry of Environment on the project (including the BEME, Interim Payment Certificate, Engineering drawings) and pictures of the physically assessable component of the project taken from the site as at the time of writing this petition.