Report: How health ministry awarded 15 of 29 COVID-19 contracts to one company

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    Bottles of Remdesivir in a hospital for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (FeatureChina via AP Images)

    The federal ministry of health awarded 15 out of 29 COVID-19 contracts to a single company, a report by CivicHive of BudgIT, a non-governmental organisation, has revealed.

    The 15 contracts worth N444.28 million were awarded to Marvelous Mike Press Limited.

    This information is contained in a report released by CivicHive of BudgIT, an organisation focused on transparency and good governance.

    In a series of tweets on Monday, CivicHive said a sum of N3.03 billion has been spent by seven government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on COVID-19 contracts.

    It identified several “inflated payments” for the different contracts, which it attributed to closed procurement process.

    The report states that N489.14 million was spent by the ministry of health on COVID-19 contracts.

    It said Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital spent N2.72 million, while Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, spent N45.34 million.

    The federal ministry of health was said to have disbursed N970.25 million which was sourced from the COVID-19 intervention fund, and over 50 percent of this fund was given to Marvelous Mike Press Limited, according to the report.

    It said Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, spent N106.72 million, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) spent N1.17 billion, while the ministry of interior and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) spent N250 million on COVID-19 contacts.

    The organisation queried the acquisition of a Prado jeep, purchased by the NCDC at the rate of N39.75 million, saying the health agency owes Nigerians an explanation on the purpose of the vehicle amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The report revealed that the federal ministry of health expended N37.06 million on 1,808 pieces of face masks at the rate of N20,467 per one.

    “What is the use of a Prado Jeep in the middle of a pandemic? The NCDC needs to explain to the general public what it was meant for,” the tweet read.

    “The Ministry of Health spent N37.06m on just 1808 pieces of ordinary face masks. This brings the cost of a single mask to approximately N20,467. This is ridiculously expensive!

    “A single entity by the name Marvellous Mike Press Limited was awarded 15 out of the 29 contracts at the Federal Ministry of Health. This amounted to a sum of N444.28m.

    “How does Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta award contracts amounting to N106.72m without a contractor? Are the projects fixing themselves?”

    The report stated that NCDC spent N43.87 million on supplying 2,240 pieces of face masks and N49.8 million on personal protective equipment (PPEs), without sufficient description of the items purchased with the funds.

    It accused most of the MDAs of not being transparent in their procurement process, adding that the projects would have been competitive if made open.

    “NCDC spent N49.8m on PEPs without proper descriptions of things bought with the funds. We do not have a proper record of how much was spent on what. This appears to secretive,” it read.

    “A sum of N43.87m was spent to supply 2240 pieces of facemasks by NCDC. FMC Abakaliki bought and installed a 100KVA Generator without a contractor!

    “The Ministry of Interior spent N18m on the purchase of 10,000 milliliters per kilogram for liquid soap.

    “The University of Abuja Teaching hospital took the delivery of medical supplies specifically for the isolation center ranging to N34.86m. Till now, we do not know exactly what was supplied to the center.

    “Most of the MDAs involved do not make public their procurement process. We believe this would have been competitive if all projects we made open to all. With the way things are, it is nearly impossible to seek transparency and accountability.”

    FMC Abakaliki bought and installed a 100KVA Generator without a contractor! #CovidFunds #AskQuestions pic.twitter.com/LjzP9BlKgb

    — CivicHive (@CivicHive) August 3, 2020

    The University of Abuja Teaching hospital took the delivery of medical supplies specifically for the isolation center ranging to N34.86m.

    Till now, we do not know exactly what was supplied to the center. #CovidFunds #AskQuestions pic.twitter.com/OBErbNqRd4

    — CivicHive (@CivicHive) August 3, 2020

    Most of the MDAs involved do not make public their procurement process.

    We believe this would have been competitive if all projects we made open to all.

    With the way things are, it is nearly impossible to seek transparency and accountability. #CovidFunds #AskQuestions pic.twitter.com/wvjjsXFDV5

    — CivicHive (@CivicHive) August 3, 2020

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