Wednesday, August 25, 2010
....::I am World's Greatest::...: Self Enrichment Projects called Contracts: "A visit to any ministry office during working hours of any working days will readily confirm your suspicion that there is more to lobbying for contracts than the intent of executing them or getting the required job done. The contract seeking contractors comes in different shapes and sizes, all with a registered company name, some own offices that holds no furnishes, some own virtual offices while with no temporary or permanent staff while many operate from the trunk of their cars. Letterheads, stamps and ready bid to tender for any contract in any ministry or department or office as long as it is a contract. They are less concerned about the content of the tender request or the purported purpose of the contract advertorial, or their own ability or obvious inability to meet the requirement or carry out the project if given the contract, but in their mediocrity, the submit proposals for all feasible in all departments without the required expertise or facilities needed to carry out the project. The prospect of getting the contracts is not qualifications, but their CONTACTS.
The men in the federal ministries"
The men in the federal ministries"
I must be clear about the direction of this text. It is about the real reasons behind the many contracts that are awarded daily by government and its parastatals at diverse levels and in the many states of this great country Nigeria, it is about cash changing hands.. In fact, Cash Must Change Hands
A visit to any ministry office during working hours of any working days will readily confirm your suspicion that there is more to lobbying for contracts than the intent of executing them or getting the required job done. The contract seeking contractors comes in different shapes and sizes, all with a registered company name, some own offices that holds no furnishes, some own virtual offices while with no temporary or permanent staff while many operate from the trunk of their cars. Letterheads, stamps and ready bid to tender for any contract in any ministry or department or office as long as it is a contract. They are less concerned about the content of the tender request or the purported purpose of the contract advertorial, or their own ability or obvious inability to meet the requirement or carry out the project if given the contract, but in their mediocrity, the submit proposals for all feasible in all departments without the required expertise or facilities needed to carry out the project. The prospect of getting the contracts is not qualifications, but their CONTACTS.
The men in the federal ministries, the supposed custodians that are in charge of this contractual processes are the real enemies of the projects they are either elected, selected or appointed to execute, while the ones appointing, selecting or electing umpires to be in charge are also not interested in the success of such projects, but more in the failure, the kickbacks and prospect of re-awarding the contracts soon again to the same contractors that just failed in executing the project, or a new one that is ready to part with more percentage on kickbacks and stage a we-are-executing-the-contract scene for the teeming populace that needs the proposed project or facility, when obviously they are determined to fail at executing the contracts a-whole. I wonder what the rationale behind this actions are.. why the intentional waste of tax payers money/national resources. Obviously the reasons are completely irrational and conceptually unthinkable but still, these men are so dedicated to making sure that things don't work that they team up so effectively. Then you begin to wonder if their hearts still beat or perhaps, their cranial sections still holds any quantity of gray matter. Still you see people people run after this set of insane entities every time they swing in with their death, destruction and eminent doom in Agbada's and Babariga.
We seem to have forgetten or choose to forget as Prof. Wole Soyinka opined in “Continuity and Amnesia” and we sing their praises every time this contracts are recycled. Once a new man is placed in chard, existing procedures are thrashed, old working systems that had cost so much so recently are abandoned or condemned, and new ones that holds no prospect of surviving are introduced, contract talks and bam! contracts are rolled out and none of it gets to work before power change hands again, and you know what the new man gets to do... he re-awards the contract to that same failure or a new one. Julius Berger, Setraco, Eworks, Siemens, Halliburton to mention the big a few of the big and visible ones while there are so many others faceless companies that handle Mega contracts from the trunk of their cars, bars and clubs. They just have a name that even the man awarding the contracts can not remember. Let us ask Obasanjo if he will be able to remember name of that french company that got the National Identification project contract for billions of Naira ahead of the qualified bidders or a few of the ones awarded the MegaWattz power projects? The funny thing is that those contracts were re-awarded under the 7-point agenda of late Yar Adua and now stopped and currently under review to be re-awarded by the Goodluck administration to this same set of companies and awardees.
Let us ask Prof. Atairu Jega “Who are the vendors you will be purchasing voters registration equipments from?” The answer is obvious, the same vendors Prof. Morris Iwu purchased from 8yrs ago, just that the prices had gone a tad higher since then. A complete registration kit, something similar to the ones this mobile phone companies are using for registration with full registration application deployed will cost less than $800USD to assemble and deliver to my doorstep in Ipaja from either HP, Dell, Acer etc etc but since it is INEC that is purchasing and it is for national use, it will cost Jega $2000USD and we are looking at buying 120,000 units (One hundred and twenty thousand units). Without digressing because the price or amount is not the issue we are dealing with now, it is the contract in it self. The new contract will be awarded as usual, but still the registration will not be successful and will be re-awarded afresh 8years from now. The equipments that will be purchased now will be obsolete by then and will definitely disappear unaccounted for by anyone. Not too worry, I will be around to submit a genuine tender for the next one, it is a small IT company now, it will be big by 2018.
The obvious purpose of awarding a contract with the mind set of re-awarding it soon again is neither getting the job done nor getting the problem solved and making the system work. The issue is the continuous recycling and consistent price/value inflation that goes with every single one of this projects or should I say contracts with the hope of getting great value not on the project but on kickbacks. Essentially, projects in Nigeria are created and contracts awarded with the purpose of enriching the awarder and probably the awardee but more importantly the man awarding the contract (the awardee) be he a commissioner, minister, the president, a governor, local government chairman, councilors, medical directors, VC, rector principal, Pope, Imam or INEC chairman etc etc. in no particular order. The essential part of the contractual process is that it goes through the senate where the contract is reviewed for approval and then upgraded so you wont have to come back and ask for more like Oliver. Lets say the budgeted amount is N74 Billion Naira, they review it, upgrade it and give you N87.7 Billion Naira to make the sharing pattern easier. 10% increase on the basic with the new improved contract carrying their private account information that cannot be officially decoded.
You can just imagine the kind of unprecedented excesses that will require as much as N14 Billion Naira on a N74 Billion Naira budget. That is what contracts are made for here in Nigeria.. not getting the job done, it is about greasing our elbows and fattening our personal purses. Projects identification, creation and subsequent contracting basically for Sharing-The-Money, it is not about making your life easier so stop getting excited when you see the bulldozer pulling down or tearing at stuffs in the name of building a facility or executing a project for all, just remember that someone somewhere is sharing-the-money and soon the bulldozer will be abandoned as soon as the money is totally shared, leaving gullies and gutters for you to dwell and swell in while the road remain impassable and the bulldozer a deadly ready roadside death trap. Don't run into it ooh! the hospital emergency ward is still under construction
Sunday, August 22, 2010
This is a statement of fact. "There is no road user in living in Ayobo/Ipaja axis of Lagos state that wakes up in the morning everyday without cursing due to theunbelievably deplorable state of the roads in Ayobo and Ipaja". The churches in the area have started praying every week and hoisting banners, praying that the government will remember Ayobo/Ipaja roads and do something about it, while the Bad Roads of Ipaja as featuredin most of the Ramadan lectures hosted in Ayobo and Ipaja. The Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Chairmen of both Ayobo/Ipaja and Mosan/Okunola respectively have ceased to exist in the hearts of the people because no one knows whether they are dead or alive due to their obvious and never-before-experienced level of inactivity and uncaring existence.
In the heart of Ipaja and Ayobo People, Fashola's promises of a Bright Rewarding Future (BRF) as been manifested majorly in the influx of more dimension of tax collectors into their communities in form of KAI, LASTMA, VIO and the even more emanding Police extortionists that had made the deplorable status ofthe roads as a reason to stand black-spot at every 100m all under the command of the Alogo Police station. The infrastructures are the craters, boreholes and bucket-holes, freshly dug canals and extensively large gutters, VIO office in place of the football pitch and more while the new facilities installed in place of the old ones are the many abandoned and dead bulldozers that are ready death traps on the road sides with a special one in front of the LCDA office atIgbogila, Inaccessible, unusable roads filled with tonnes of dugout red-earth from abandoned drainage's and gutters, making the road slippery and dangerous even for trekking or walking as the case maybe, depending on how far you are going because once it rains, the Okadas disappear because with or without helmets, legs are still breakable when you slip and crash..
Sometimes I wonder how much car owners in Ipaja and Ayobo spend on maintaining their cars and self from the bumpy car damaging rides and I pity transporters because I keep wondering "how much do they spend on maintaining their vehicles,VIO, Police, LASTMA and Agberos." Sometimes tears roll down my eyes when am outside Ipaja and it's about time I go home.. It even happened when I was leaving Jigawa..felt like I was going to a"toture range", I think about how long and how hard it will take getting home from Moshalashi to Oluwaga. Phew!
It is true that Fashola is working but"when and where?" The BRT project was Tinubu's design, Waste management was Tinubu's project, LASU/OJO road was Tinubu's, LagosIsland was his work and the very new face of VI was all his doing...the only thing have seen Fashola done is plant flowers, destroy properties in the name of developing something and latter abandoning the project only to bring some more properties down and plant flowersthere for remembrance. Too bad no flowers are planted in Ipaja, they are totally left in reckless abandon. The fence of my local church in Oluwaga, Ipaja as been down for 2 years and it is still down in the name of drainage but the gutter they dug is still open, creating more gullies due to erosion.
It is not only so in Ipaja, take a tour of Surulere, go to Ikoyi and if you must drive through GRA Ikeja and you will see lots of abandoned road projects and plentiful tax collectors. Tinubu's regime was far more better and humane and there is no proof that this regime is even more credible than his reign.Even if he was a thief, our roads never went this bad before they get repaired or patched as we always have them, we paid less tax and sawmore of our government and not in the form of tax adverts on our TV.Fashola currently runs more tax adverts on our radios and TVs than Cadbury and Nestle do combined for Bournvita and Milo respectively. The Lekki/Epe express road is not new and it has been under construction for so long but the tax booths are finished and ready to collect. I just keep wondering, what will Fashola's campaign theme be for Ipaja and Ayobo,
"Badder roads, Blackouts, Totally disfunctional LCDAs, more properties destruction, badclassrooms and more abandoned projects",I just cant stop wondering!
Now I know it's "Same of the Same"like Jimi Agbaje said, it is just the faces that as been changing and I dont feel Agbaje would have done better, he's one of them "same of the same." I think I will rather have Uncle Say (Sakiru) our former and very useless councillor under Alimosho local government contest for the Lagos state governorship rather than have Babatunde Raji Fashola contest as the chairman of our LCDA, I will rather not vote than vote them into power again...all the noise is about nothing..Fashola as really done nothing better than a politician will do. All I pray for is someone better than most of them... I will work for change and still pray for a miracle.. God we need divine intervention. Amen!