Reps probe alleged violation of Procurement Act by FIRS

FIRS

Having agreed not to investigate Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for alleged breaches on the Public Procurement Act (PPA), 2007, the House of Representatives yesterday reversed self and announced commencement of the investigations.

Adopting a motion by Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyema, the lawmakers said their decision was based on fresh facts concerning the alleged violation of the act by the revenue agency.

He explained that for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to be trusted in ridding the country of corruption, the House should rescind its earlier decision and investigate the action of FIRS to serve as deference to others.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, therefore, referred the investigation to the House Committee on Public Procurement, with a charge to conduct the probe and report back in six weeks.The House also faulted the extension of the tenure of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Dr. Jamila Shua’ra who turned 60 on February 17, this year.

The House via its committee on Basic Education and services maintained that the President doesn’t have the power under section 171 (c), (c) of the 1999 constitution as amended or any other existing law to extend or elongate the tenure of Shuara whose tenure expired by effluxion of time or age or both.

Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Zakari Mohammed who probed into the alleged illegality of Shuara’s continuous stay in office thereby directed the Head of service, Winifred Ekanem Oyoita to invoke the relevant rules to recover all the emoluments paid to Shuara from the period of the extension.

Also, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has intervened in the planned relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from Rivers and called for the investigation into the company’s decision.

The speaker made this known when he inaugurated an ad hoc committee to investigate the planned relocation of the company and report back within four weeks.He, therefore, urged the committee to come up with report that will be fair as well to forestall any impending crisis in the region.

Meanwhile, a Civil Society Organisation, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative (PRADIN, has kicked against the proposed amendment of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) by the House of Representatives seeking to increase the mobilisation fees of contractors from 15 per cent to 50 per cent.

The group also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute and inaugurate the National Council for Public Procurement (NCPP) which has been lying fallow since its establishment 10 years ago.At a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, National Coordinator, PRADIN, Mohammed Attah said the bill as read on the floor of the House of Representatives should be discarded as it is against the spirit of transparency and accountability.

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