KPMG Report: Review of Past Government's Procurement Process Is Not an Indictment | #NwokeukwuMascot


...A Review Is Not An Indiction by Eke O Ako | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Dear Governor Alex C. Otti, 

Many thanks for commissioning a REVIEW OF THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS of the immediate past government.

I am struggling to understand the benefit Abians will get from a 'PROCESS REVIEW, since Ikpeazu has completed his tenure. Although the report gave more details on the payments made to contractors (information we already have in the Annual Financial Reports published by Ikpeazu's government), I am yet to understand how the review of the procurement processes will have an effect on his government, since he can no longer change how contracts were awarded. 

I wold have thought that AN AUDIT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES would have been a better use of Abia's funds and offered Abians more benefits, given that the major stakeholders (government officials and contractors) in the procurement activities would have been questioned at the same time. 

I have scanned through the KPMG report and have come up with the following:

1. Despite not offering much value to Abians apart from the media noise being generated, the review is detailed as expected of a company with the stature of KPMG.

2. It WAS NOT AN AUDIT; as the key stakeholders mentioned have not been questioned or asked for their input or clarification.  

3. It WAS simply a PROCESS REVIEW, therefore, should NEVER be used to INDICT ANYONE as you have done. Indictments can only happen when sufficient clarification have not be provided by the relevant stakeholders.

4. We now expect your government to ACT RESPONSIBLY by avoiding continued media trials and blackmails, but expedite actions to ensure that all the relevant stakeholders are invited for questioning and clarifications through established government processes and using approved government bodies.

5. We expect your government to confirm the completion or otherwise of all the projects paid for.

6. We equally expect your government to cross-check the rates paid to contractors to ensure that they conform to the applicable/standard rates at the time for the scope of work.

7. Where funds have been paid to contractors without work being completed, we expect that the government takes all LEGAL ACTIONS to ensure that such funds are returned by the contractors to the government coffers, and necessary legal actions taken against ALL INVOLVED.

8. Where contract rates were inflated above the standard rates, we equally expect your government to use all LEGAL PROCESSES to ensure that such excesses are refunded to Abia State Government, and necessary legal actions taken against ALL INVOLVED.

9. We expect you to extend the AUDIT (not review) to Governor TA Orji's regime, to ensure that all funds that may have been taken through non-existent contracts, are returned. Where there is already an inquest into the activities of his regime, we expect you to liaise with the relevant agencies to expedite the process of his audit and trial, where applicable. His tenure was the darkest part of Abia's history.

10. It is also obvious that you have continued to hand out contracts to your cronies in the same manner that we saw in the review report. For example, the contract for the rehabilitation of Port-Harcourt Road Aba at the most ridiculous cost, was verbally awarded to the company, even before you were sworn in as governor. The Chairman of Julius Berger doubles as the Chairman of your Signature Bank, the biggest conflict of interest we have seen in Abia. 

11. We have equally noted with dismay, the guaranteeing of loans running into tens of billions of Naira, for companies belonging to your cronies, where such loans are not attached to specific contracts, and government repayments of such loans not tied to any work completion conditions. 

12. While you are rightly scrutinising the activities of your predecessor, it is important that you begin to address the lack of transparency in your government (contract scopes & costs are unknown to Abians), and the gross abuse of funds in your government, we have seen so far in your published quarterly financial reports.

13. Your cost of governance remains prohibitive and probably the highest in the country, not withstanding that you run the state from your home. It is very worrying that you claimed the sum of N2.97bn between July 2023 and March 2024 for CAPITAL PROJECTS IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, when you run Abia from your home. Where are the capital projects located?  

14. Tens of billions of Naira have been claimed by your government for projects that don't exist anywhere in Abia State, some which date back to July last year (e.g. N1.6bn Agric facility, N3.3bn ICT & other infrastructure, N6.1bn Research & Capacity Building Centre, N900m restaurant, N1bn Erosion Control Site, N2.8bn Governor's vehicles, N3.77bn office  buildings, N4.57bn public schools, N2bn hospitals, N140m Boundary Pillars,  N289m waterways, N385m electricity projects, N773m Govt House Clinic, N261m Water Projects, and more). There is also the N40bn spent on unknown road projects. We urge you to swiftly return these funds to the state's coffers. 

Your regime is guilty of almost all the non-conformances detailed in the review. Finally, I wonder if you would take any lessons from this report. 

I am sure that a blackmail will be unleashed against me and my family due to this, as has been the culture of your government against critics.

Your fellow statesman,

Eke O Ako MBA, MSc, BEng (Hons), CEng, FCIMPN,

Okpulor Ngwa, Isiala-Ngwa .

Abia State


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