ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, ABUJA
Senate has requested for the resignation of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, over allegedly N200 million contract scam awarded to his personal company.The contract was to clear ‘invasive plant specie’ in Yobe State.
The Senate passed resolution for the removal of SGF after the consideration of Interim Report of Senate Adhoc Committee on Humanitarian Crises in the North East Chaired by Senator Shehu Sani.
Sani had reported that the Presidential Initiative on North-east (PINE) saddled with the responsibility of rebuilding and rehabilitating the region devastated by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, took advantage of the provision of the emergency situation in the Public Procurement Act to inflate contracts.
The report revealed that Global Vision Ltd is owned by Babachir and was indicted in the interim report for allegedly benefiting from inflated and phantom contracts – or ones not executed at all – awarded by the PINE.
According to the report, Mr. Lawal’s directorship of the Global Vision while being a public official – Secretary General of the Federation – contravened Nigeria’s code of conduct for public officials as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
The approved recommendation by the Senate reads,”the Federal government and States in the North East should as a matter of urgency ensure that food items are adequately and promptly provided to displaced persons in order to address the prevailing mal-nutrition ‘observed amongst them;
“Serious efforts should be put by both Federal and State governments of the North East to provide conducive learning atmosphere for the children of the lDPs;
“The Federal Ministry of Health should be compelled to immediately deploy their personnel to all the lDPs to support the efforts of the International Humanitarian Crisis Managers and the Nigerian AirForce medical team in providing the necessary medical assistance so as to avert possible outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera, measles, and diarrhea etc;
“Federal and State government should intensify efforts towards reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure, rehabilitation and empowerment of the lDPs so that they can go back to their respective homes;
“The newly constituted Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI) should ensure that there is synergy and proper coordination among all humanitarian crisis agencies if the lDPs are to gain maximally from the entire exercise;
“The Presidential Initiative on North East shall forward a detailed report of all contracts awarded by it to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) as requested by Section 43 (iv) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”