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Transmission Company of Nigeria CEO, Abdulaziz, Enmeshed In Corruption Scandal Over Alleged Award Of Multi-billion-Naira Contracts To Cronies

SaharaReporters gathered that Abdulaziz has been involved in violation of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in the award of contracts running into billions of Naira, including contract splitting.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has been caught in a web of corruption allegedly perpetrated by the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz.

SaharaReporters gathered that Abdulaziz has been involved in violation of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in the award of contracts running into billions of Naira, including contract splitting.

Sources told SaharaReporters that most of the contracts the MD awarded under emergency procurement were not emergency in nature and that he awarded most of the contracts to his friends who in turn pulled out the funds and remitted such to him.

One of the sources said, “The level of corruption allegedly going on in the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has become enormous. With this level of corruption, it will be impossible for the Nigerians to have any meaningful improvement in electricity.

“For instance, TCN Management, and in particular the current MD/CEO, Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz is corrupt, and he operates with impunity by violating the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in the award of contracts running into billions of naira. Examples of such are contract splitting to circumvent the Procurement Act and wrong procurement methods in the award of contracts. Most of the contracts awarded under emergency procurements are not emergency in nature. The emergency method of procurement is used by the MD to enable him to massively inflate contract prices. And these contracts are awarded to his friends who in turn pull out the fund and remit such to him.

“Under emergency procurement, the Act allows you to carry out the procurement but with the condition that after completion of work, you file a detailed report for retrospective no objection to the Bureau of Public Procurement.”

Another source also alleged that the TCN’s MD awarded the contract for erosion control, line trace maintenance work, bush clearing, tree cutting and erosion control on transmission towers to his cronies.

The insider source said, “The above does not fall under emergency procurement, yet the MD of TCN has awarded so many contracts running into billions of naira using this method.

“One of such is 33 contracts awarded under emergency with a total sum running into billions of naira and fully paid by TCN for which the Bureau of Public Procurement flagged as mis-procurement.”

The source further explained, “Tree cutting and bush clearing do not fall under emergency procurement. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act defines items that fall under emergency procurement.

“Trees and bushes don’t grow overnight; therefore, the method of procurement for their clearing should be open competitive bidding and not emergency procurement.

“The reason why the current MD/CEO of TCN awarded these contracts under emergency procurement is to inflate the contract prices to enable him to misappropriate funds, and for him to deceive the public and the BPP, he tagged them as ‘Mechanized Line Trace Maintenance work’ which is the same thing as tree cutting and bush clearing.

“TCN lines are patrolled by TCN line’s men on a daily basis and reports are written by them on areas that may require tree cutting and bush. This means that adequate notice was given to the MD/CEO yet he decided to award them under emergency procurement to misappropriate billions of naira.

“Contract on erosion control for transmission tower means reinforcements of transmission tower. For erosion to threaten a tower, it takes a period of time for it to happen.”

One of the sources added that for every contract awarded under ICB (International Competitive Bidding) or NCB (National Competitive Bidding), the contractor carries out a geophysics test of the soil (soil test) to know its nature before the erection of transmission towers.

“During this period, areas that are prone to erosion are taken into account before commencement of work and they are included in the award, yet the MD/CEO of TCN awarded the same contracts to his cronies to embezzle funds under the pretence of works under emergency procurement.

“These works have previously been awarded and executed in the first award under ICB/NCB,” the source added.

The TCN had in a letter of request for emergency works and supply contracts carried out by TCN, submitted to BPP in February 2022, listed some contracts it claimed to have awarded under the emergency method.

The TCN’s letter reproduced by BPP in its response read, “The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) presents compliments of best esteem to the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

“In compliance with the requirements of Section 43 (4) of the PPA, 2007 on the need to file a detailed report thereof with the Bureau after cessation of an emergency procurement, TCN recently carried out emergency works and supply contracts with reputable contractors as listed in the table.”

BPP’s Letter Noting Wrong Use Of Procurement Methods

But BPP in its response to the TCN’s letter said that the contracts indicated ought not to have been done through the emergency procurement method.

The BPP letter read, “The TCN should officially make a request to the Bureau in line with the provisions of Section 42 of PPA, 2007 for Direct Procurement of the 33 projects with serial numbers 4, 5, 27, 74, 118, 120, 133, 137, 139, 149, 154, 162, 163, 164, 165, 175, 182, 184, 189, 190, 193, 194, 197, 204, 217, 218, 238, 247, 251, 255, 257, 269, & 274, which ought not to have been procured through the Emergency procurement method by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for the Emergency Works contracts as indicated.”

“The Bureau finally draw the attention of the Accounting Officer (Managing Director) on the wrong use of procurement methods and to reiterate the fact that, despite the Bureau’s current position on the 33 projects in this request, subsequent slips of this nature will not be admitted as requisite sanctions will be thumped on any of the professionals involved,” part of BPP’s response to TCN read.

According to a document sighted by SaharaReporters, 37 contracts awarded by the TCN MD/CEO under emergency method which according to BPP, are not qualified as emergency contracts include: “Emergency erosion control works on Tower T277 Ganmo Ilorin 132KV TRX Line, awarded to 5 Headstone Engineering Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T456 Ayede TRX Line, awarded to Auwal Bamanga Enterprises Ltd; Emergency erosion control works Tower Ekpene TRX Line, awarded to Barton Solution Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T215 Sokoto 132KV TRX Line, awarded to Bash Multi Link Ventures and Emergency erosion control works on Tower T35 Katsina Daura 132KV TRX Line, awarded to Binhamzs Integrated Ventures Limited.”

Others are: “Emergency erosion control works on Tower T194 132KV TRX Line Kaduna REG, awarded to Bling Integrated Services; Emergency erosion works on Tower T192 Zaria 132KV TRX Line, awarded to Cut Edge Technical Integrated; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T150 Gombe-Yola 132KV TRX Line, awarded to CutEdge Technical Integrated; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T149 Kaduna-Jos 330KV TRX Line, awarded to Dabelfari Nigeria Limited; Emergency erosion rehabilitation of Ganmo 132KV TS Blockwall fence and erosion control, awarded to Danalog Multi Services Ltd; Payment for emergency erosion control works on Tower T375 Olorunshogo Ayede 330KV TRX Line, awarded to EITayib Nigeria Limited.”

Other contracts are: “Emergency erosion control works on Tower 601 Gombe 132KV TEX Line, awarded to Frasier Stone Limited; another Emergency erosion control works on Tower 601 Gombe 132kv TRX Line, awarded to the same Frasier Stone Limited; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T57 Delta 132kv TRX Line, awarded to HakBen Associates Nig Ltd; Emergency reinforcement of Tower Base T2 circuit S4G 132kv single circuit TRX line, awarded to Headstone Engineering; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T955 Gombe Biu 132kv TRX line, awarded to Hinterlands Associates Limited.

“Emergency erosion control works on Tower T47 Delta-Benin 132kv Double circuit TRX line, awarded to Izam Construction and Properties Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on tower T37 Ogbara 132kv do Delta subregion, awarded to Model Janitors Limited; Representation for emergency erosion control works on Delta T152, awarded to Olive Tree Roots and Wings Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T18 Ikeja West Alimosho 132kv TRX line, awarded to Oreez Project Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower 157 Kainji-Birnin Kebbi 330kv TRX line, awarded to Reed Engineering Construction.

“Emergency erosion control works on Tower T116 Gombe 330kv TRX line, awarded to Renox Limited; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T122 circuit SC line at Delta SR, awarded to S Bros Nig Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T14 Kaduna-Jos 330kv TRX line, awarded to Scoin Waves Limited; another Emergency erosion control works on Tower T14 Kaduna-Jos 330kv TRX line, awarded to Scoin Waves Limited; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T83 Gombe 330kv TRX line, awarded to Seerax Services Limited.”

“Emergency erosion control works on Tower T48 Wasimi 132kv TRX line, awarded to Steel Base Resources Limited; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T11 Ikeja West Ilupeju 132kv TRX line, awarded to Tamtam Project Limited; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T924 Yola-Jalingo 132kv TRX line, awarded to Todelard Construction Co Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T58 Delta 132kv line, awarded to Tos Tai Seko 1234 Nigeria Co Ltd; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T254 Ganmo Ilorin 132kv TRX line, awarded to Vesta Multilink Project.”

Others obtained by SaharaReporters are: “Emergency erosion control works on Tower T962 Yolanda-Jalingo 132kv line, also awarded to Vesta Multilink Project; Emergency erosion control works on Tower T598 Gombe 132kv TRX line, awarded to Weng Engineering Construction Nig Ltd; Payment for emergency erosion control works on tower T106 circuit G3b 330kv SC line Delta SS, also awarded to Weng Engineering Construction Nig Ltd and Emergency erosion control works Tower T659 Ikeja West Omotosho 330kv TRX line, awarded to Zanjabil Integrated Services Ltd.”

According to the insider source, the TCN MD/CEO awarded the contract under emergency procurement to avoid transparency and to inflate the contract prices among others.

“Note that erosion doesn’t just occur overnight, therefore, it cannot fall under emergency procurement. Erosion-prone areas are supposed to be identified during the line inspection by TCN linesmen and reported to be included in the procurement plan for competitive bidding and to ensure value for money. Some of these towers are not prone to erosion,” one of the sources stressed.

When the Public Affairs General Manager for TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, was contacted for comments and reactions to the allegations, she asked our reporter to send her a message explaining the issues and allegations.

Though she promised to get back, she did not answer subsequent calls. She also had not replied to SaharaReporters’ message at press time.

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