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More trouble for NIPC Boss: Staff Union accuses her of contract scam, insists on immediate removal

By News Express on 13/05/2015

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The woes of the embattled Executive Secretary of the crisis-ridden Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms. Saratu Umar, have multiplied, with the NIPC Staff Union accusing her of fleecing the commission by fraudulently awarding illegal contracts, mainly to her cronies.

NIPC has for weeks been engulfed with crisis with staff of the commission insisting on Ms. Umar’s resignation or sack over her alleged high-handedness, incompetence and lack of capacity to provide good leadership to the commission. They are pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan to remove her without any further delay and thus stop the hemorrhaging of the commission.

“Our findings have indicated that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms. Saratu Umar, has violated so many provisions of the Act in awarding contract to her cronies and has been running the Commission as a private entity,” the NIPC Staff Union said in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its Chairman, Ahmad Isah Ghondi.

According to the statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express, “The Executive Secretary since her assumption of office a year ago has never advertised for bids as a pre-requisite for all contracts which is in violation of section 19(a) and section 16(1) of the Public Procurement Act. She has currently hand-picked and engaged the services of five Consultants which was not advertised for public bidding. In contravention of section 21 of the Public Procurement Act, she has refused to constitute a Procurement Planning Committee.

“The NIPC boss has failed in her one year administration of the Commission to obtain ‘No objection’ certificates which are normally issued prior to award of contracts and payments. This is in contravention of section 16 (1) and (4) of the Public Procurement Act. In her determined efforts to thrive in illegality, Ms. Saratu Umar, has put together an illegal Tenders Board which comprised of only two directors and other subordinate staff and completely sidelined other Directors who are still staff of the Commission. This illegal Tenders Board recently approved a Contract of N35 million for refurnishing of her office.

“The engagement of Consultancies and Contracts that is valued at millions of naira are done without any legal documentation, contract or agreements. It is worthy of note that under section 20(2) of the Public Procurement Act, the Chief Executive Officer is to be held liable in person for the breach and contravention of this Act, whether or not such breach was carried out by her or her subordinates.”

•Photo shows embattled NIPC boss, Saratu Umar.

Source News Express

Posted 13/05/2015 06:12:19 AM





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