Abuja – The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) on Thursday said it followed due process in awarding contracts to the tune of N480 million and purchase of a helicopter worth N49.5 million.
Mr Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, the Deputy Director, Information of NASENI, in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja said that the agency complied with all financial regulations and procurement procedures in purchasing the helicopter as well as in awarding contracts.
It would be recalled that an anti-graft group, Corruption Practices Eradication Organisation of Nigeria (COPEON) in May, petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe alleged financial irregularities in NASENI.
The group urged the EFCC to prosecute the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna for allegedly awarding contracts without due process.
The group also alleged that NASENI in 2015 fraudulently presented a 5KW kinetic hydro turbine for electricity generation to Gada hamlet in Akwanga, Nasarawa, as a research product of the agency.
However, the statement quoted the management of NASENI as refuting all the allegations.
The statement read: “In line with its mandate on reverse engineering, NASENI has awarded the contract for supply of a helicopter to Dynali Helicopter Company in Germany.
“The contract was approved by the NASENI Tenders Board (NTB) for supply of Complete Knocked Down components (CKD) of helicopter to fast track reverse engineering and the supervising authority was duly informed.
“Also in most international procurements, as in this case, production or manufacturing of components takes time because production commences only after orders are placed and this product is now ready for shipment.”
Ayeoyenikan explained that NASENI had a working Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Smart Hydro Power of Germany to domesticate its technology in Nigeria through which the Kinetic turbine was conceived, developed, installed and commissioned by the collaboration.
According to him, NASENI is not re-inventing the wheels in the development and has never claimed to have done so.
“Work is still in progress for full acquisition of this technology,’’ NASENI Deputy Director said.
Regarding alleged embezzlement of N24.7 million for purchase of complementary wood working machine in 2012 for Solid Minerals Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (SOMMEDI), Nasarawa, NASENI management insisted that due process was also followed.
“The contract was sponsored and paid for by the Nasarawa State government as part of its contribution toward the take off of the institute.
“The Nasarawa State government never complained about the implementation of the contract and the two machines are available for inspection at the institute in Nasarawa.
“NASENI had not violated or misappropriated any fund allocated to it,’’ he said.
The agency, while describing all the allegations as spurious and malicious, urged Nigerians to discountenance the contents of the petition.
NASENI insisted that all financial regulations and procurement procedures in award of contracts as set by Bureau of Public Procurement was followed.
“Therefore, the claim of the petitioner that Haruna awarded contract fraudulently or with fictitious claims without report of consultancy services can never be substantiated and payment could not have been permitted for uncompleted projects.
“The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, within the purview of financial regulations and the Procurement Act, does not have the power to approve any consultancy services above his approval limit.
“In giving out contract in NASENI, what is obtainable in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government are all the same, and therefore, NASENI has not created a separate procedure for award of contracts.
“There are no cases of splitting of contracts in NASENI.
“All contracts awarded by NTB were in line with the 2007 Public Procurement Act as amended,’’ Ayeoyenikan said. (NAN)