Published On: Thu, Aug 9th, 2018

Uncovering Cesspool Of Corruption Inside Education Ministry, TETFund & BPP


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Uncovering Cesspool Of Corruption Inside Education Ministry, TETFund & BPP

The coming of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration brought promising hope of the eradication of corrupt practices and the cleanup of the process of contract awards within the concerns ministries of the federal government. With over three years into the administration, the prevalence of corrupt practices within the federal ministries appear undeterred. This is as the anti-graft agencies of the federal government focused its effort on recovering looted funds.

Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from a consortium of competent sources point to the federal ministry of education as having become a cesspool of corruption. The corrupt practices sits on a tripod between the TETFund, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University/Ministry of Education and Bureau of public procurement [BPP].

The trio according to available documentary evidence contained in a petition dated June 7, 2018 titled The Need To Investigate The Sharp Practices In The Award Of Contracts In Federal Ministry Of Education Parastatals With Connivance Of Bureau Of Public Procurement – submitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission [ICPC] by Whistle Blowers indicate the trio have dubiously exploited and abused the guidelines and laid down processes in award of contracts.

See petition below:

Among the litany of corrupt practices is the Ministry’s activities at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University [ATBU] in Bauchi where the BPP and the Ministry of Education dubiously utilized the “no objection” clause of the BPP to award over N2billion worth of illegal contracts to select contractors without undergoing the normal bidding process. The Director-General of BPP, Mamman Ahmadu is said to have headed the numerous illegal awards.

In a letter dated January 4, 2018 with reference number BPP/S.1/SP/18/Vol.1,009 titled Re: Request For Approval To Adopt Restricted [Selective] Tendering Method – which was a reply to an earlier request by ATBU to adopt restricted [selective] tendering method for the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 intervention projects. The BPP, in the reply, stated that the University did not meet the requirement for such tendering method – See paragraphs 3a, b, and c of document pasted below.

See the letter below:

But the Mamman Ahmadu led BPP went on to contradict itself in the letter by bypassing the stated guidelines. In the same letter pasted above, the BPP in paragraph 7 granted the “no objection” request to adopt restricted tendering for procurement for the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 intervention projects – even though it acknowledged the University had not met the requirements.

The ministry of education on its part in collusion approved the award of contracts under the TETFund intervention projects allocation for ATBU. The ministerial tenders board [MTB] of the federal ministry of education in a letter dated March 16, 2018 with reference number FME/PROC/ATBU/2018/316/1 approved the award of three contracts under the 2013. 2014, 2015 and 2016 intervention projects valued at over N1billion. There was no bidding. The contract was awarded to their choice contractors.

See the letter below:

According to the petition, an estimated amount of N30million were collected as bribe from contractors and shared among members in the ministry of education, the BPP and TETFund.

The petition also revealed that since the coming of the current executive secretary of TETFund, Dr, Abdullahi Buchi Bappa, instructions were issued to all Nigerian public owned universities to reserve 20% of all contracts on the intervention fund provided to them by TETFund for “stakeholders”. The so called stakeholders were not identified. In the words of the petitioner, “We strongly believe that they are none other than Dr. Abdullahi Buchi Bappa himself, his cronies and the immediate family of the minister of education.”   According to a source close to the minister of education, the minister was not happy with the TETFund boss when he discovered the 20% scam. The source notes that “after the Minister of Education received the copy of the petition, he confronted the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Dr. Bappha Bichi and showed his displeasure over the issue. The Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu angrily frowned at the practice of the 20% reservation of contracts for stakeholders. However, the powerful Dr. Bichi, who often times override the Minister’s decisions, continued with the practice untamed.”

Nonetheless, not all of the publicly owned universities agreed to the 20% deduction. All the southern Nigerian universities rejected the deduction along with the Nigerian Defense Academy.

In what seemed as confessional statement, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu had declared that he has plethora of evidence that many of the heads of tertiary institutions lack integrity and sincerity in the course of discharging their obligations. The Minister disclosed this at the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB) 2018 policy meeting with all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, held at Bola Babalakin auditorium, Gbongan, Osun State.
In his words, “some of you carry out your duties with full understanding and knowledge that some of your actions cannot stand the test of integrity, as some of the infractions you endorse and approve are irregular. We have documentary evidence of some of these irregularities and they include irregular admissions, skewed fees and refusal to adhere to policy decisions” 

An interesting twist to the near criminality occurred as the petition was submitted to the ICPC for onward investigation. Within days of the receipt of the petition by the ICPC, Dr. Bappa quickly arranged a trip to the EFCC – where the sister of Minister of education is employed as a senior staff at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC]. She arranged for a face to face meeting with the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu. The meeting according to our source was to seek the assistance of the EFCC boss to stay action on the petition at the Chairman’s desk at the ICPC. Anti-graft agencies share mutual cooperation on corruption cases.

Interestingly, nothing has come of the petition since the TETFund boss visited the EFCC boss.

 

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