Yesterday, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, threatened to expel the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, from the party for refusing to constitute the board members of Federal Agencies’ and parastatal under his ministry, particularly that of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Shortly after assuming office as National chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomole directed all Ministers in the cabinet to constitute the board members of their agencies but Chris Ngige in a letter sent to him, said he will not as he only takes directives from President Buhari. Oshiomhole had made an allegation that the minister’s failure to inaugurate the NSITF board, gave him the opportunity to usurp the position of the board to award contract.
Chris Ngige released a statement replying Oshiomole. The Minister in his letter signed by the Director (Press)’ Ministry of Labour and Employment, Prince Samuel Olowookere, advised Oshiomhole, to go for lectures so that he can be versed in little basic issues that guide public governance. Ngige said Oshiomhole is ignorant of the relevant laws.
Read Chris Ngige’s statement below;
“Such a blatant falsehood is either on account of fertile ignorance or outright mischief or both by the originator as well as the peddlers. It is therefore imperative that the provisions of the Procurement Act 2010 which is clear and unambiguous in the process for the award of contracts be re-emphasized. Neither Minister nor Board can award Contracts in NSITF or any other Federal Board. It is our humble view therefore that those in authority should be versed in little basic issues that guide public governance so as to be properly guided in their utterances to avoid unnecessary character assassination and unfortunate misinformation of the general public.”
“For clarity purpose, the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) for the award of contracts in any Ministry is made up of the Permanent Secretary as chairman and his Directors, while in the parastatals, the Parastatals Tenders Board consists of the Chief Executive Officer (Director General or Managing Director) and his Directors.
“The Minister is not a member and therefore does not award contracts. Similarly, members of the Board of Directors not being members of the Tenders Board of the parastatals do not also award contracts. It is therefore a stunningly crass ignorance for anyone to claim that part of the reasons for the delay in the inauguration of the board of the NSITF or any parastatal was to enable the Minister usurp the role of the board as regards the award of contracts.
“When the threshold of the award is above a parastatal, such contracts are referred to the MTB for final approval. Such also is the case with the Ministerial Tenders Board threshold which is referred to the Bureau for Public Procurement and from there, to the Council of Ministers called the Federal Executive Council for treatment and ratification.
“So in effect, the Federal Executive Council is not a contract awarding body and hence Ministers do not award contracts stricto senso!
Once more, the minister wishes to state that the reason for the delayed inauguration of the Board of the NSITF was to enable the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up to probe a frightening degree of corruption amounting to over 48 billion Naira out of which N5billion disappeared in a day without vouchers, complete its assignment.
“The panel has submitted its report while the committee implementing same report is already empanelled. It will finish its work very soon to pave the way for the inauguration of the Board of Directors.”