A local construction company, Duluidas Nigeria Ltd, appealed to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) and the Public Procurement Bureau (BPP) to conduct a due process review for the award of the track reconstruction to narrow gauge from Minna to Baro with extension of the river port of Baro.
The construction company, in a letter dated September 15, 2021 to the NRC, signed by James Okoh, esq, of Treasure Solicitors, obtained by Blueprint in Abuja on Thursday, alleged that managing the entire process leading to the The awarding of the contract was marred by bias and undue favoritism, adding that the whole process was fraudulent, in particular by not following due process.
In the letter, the law firm explained that after an open tender for the contract, the NRC, through the Federal Ministry of Transport, surprisingly fired MM. Offer submitted by Consortium of Duluidas (Nig.) Limited, Duliz Dredging & Construction Limited / Habbei Yixin Fastener Co. Ltd, China for an amount of N 76,794,910,332.00
This decision, he noted, contravenes the provisions of Articles 32, 50 and 51 of the 2007 Law on Public Procurement.
Informing the NRC that MM. CCECC, enjoying an undue favor on its part for reasons which are not clear to them, undertook to take all necessary legal steps, including taking legal action in the courts to ensure that justice, the equity and fair play are enforced in the process if NRC does not respond to the petition within five business days.
The letter reads in part: “Our client thinks that if the reason given by the NRC is ‘to be economically advantageous’ is something to do, then your conclusion does not seem to follow from the premises, because the difference between the CCECC offer and that of Consortium of Duluidas (Nig.) Limited; Duliz Dredging & Construction Limited / Habbei Yixin Fastener Co. Ltd, China is huge which means our client should have won the offer using the economically advantageous criteria.
âIn addition, if economic consideration was the main driver and given that the Nigerian economy is still struggling today, due to the effect of COVID-19, and growing insecurity in the country, which has affected our national economy, our client maintains the opinion that it would have been in the best interests of the economy to choose this offer, which is more than N15 billion lower in terms of cost and yet technically competent, and it could not have been CCECC.
âEqually important is that the BPP, with reference to your recommendation and after careful observations, by its letter of June 09, 2021, recommended that the certificate of ‘NO OBJECTION cannot be handed over to the Federal Ministry of Transport for the reconstruction of narrow gauge. route from Minna to Baro, with extension to the river port of Baro in favor that after the technical and financial pre-qualification, articulated on the economic advantage, âis economically advantageousâ.
âYou would come to the conclusion that the CCECC offer is more economically advantageous for Our dear country which is struggling in the economic quagmire, especially since the difference between the CCECC offer and that of the Consortium of Duluidas (NIg -) is limited; Duliz Dredging & Construction Limited / Habbei Yixin Fastener Co. Ltd, is a huge lower cost of N15 billion, even after both were found to be technically competent, which means our client should have won the offer, using economically advantageous criteria, if the principle of equity has been applied by you.
âUnfortunately, again, NRC has never formally communicated this report to our client or its technical partner, until now, but simply relied on the prequalification due diligence of the consortium upon which BPP had previously made its recommendations in favor of the consortium.
âThe only post-qualification exercise conducted on the consortium, to our knowledge, are the (2) two letters written to confirm the financial capacity of Duluidas (Nig.) Limited and Duliz Dredging & Construction Limited, respectively; and the alleged “simple search on the website of Habbei Yixin Fastener Co. Ltd. China âin an attempt to mislead the BPP.
âOur client wishes to state here unequivocally that your letter of August 11, 2021 to the BPP through the Federal Ministry of Transport is an infringement and that the decision taken on this matter by the BPP cannot and should not be upheld, because our client wrote a letter to you, dated July 12, 2021, as a necessary partner in the application process, and formally requesting an update on the BPP letter of June 9, 2021, to which you never responded .
“Our client believes that your handling of the whole process was marred by bias and undue favoritism and that the whole process was fraudulent, in particular by not following the procedure established by you.”
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