The Nigerian government has through the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, ordered the immediate cancellation of the tendering process for the engagement of Pre-Shipment Inspection and Monitoring Agents for Oil and Gas.
This decision was informed by the receipt of complaints and a petition alleging irregularities in the process, Director of Press in the Ministry, Mr. Marshall Gundu, said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Pre-shipment inspection of oil and gas exports, which commenced earlier in the year, is believed to have enhanced government revenues by preventing misstatement and understatement by exporters as it involves the issuance of a Clean Certificate of Inspection, confirming the volume and the value of all exports.
According to the statement, Adeosun was quoted as saying: “The sheer volume of complaints and the wide range of sources they emanated from had raised a sufficient level of concern around the process to warrant a full cancellation rather than a suspension.
“This administration stands for transparency and accountability and it is, therefore, important that all procurement and tendering exercises must be undertaken in accordance with best practices”.
Mrs. Adeosun disclosed that the Ministry of Finance was in touch with the Bureau of Public Procurement and that a new process that would be transparent in line with the policy of the current administration, would be announced shortly.
She said: “President Muhammadu Buhari, had in June, mandated the Federal Ministry of Finance, under the then Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Anastasia Nwoabia, to commence the process of engaging Pre-Shipment Inspection and Monitoring Agents. Upon the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement, a selective tendering process was initiated under which 65 companies were selected and invited to bid.
“However, since the inception of the process, numerous complaints were sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance, suggesting that the method by which the 65 companies were selected was faulty and lacked transparency.
“Additionally, a formal petition was received by the Bureau of Public Procurement making specific allegations about the process. Under Public Procurement rules, the receipt of a formal petition requires a suspension of the tendering process to allow an investigation. However, in this instance, the Minister has taken the decision to cancel”, Gundu added.