How Health Ministry Awarded 15 COVID-19 Contracts To One Company, Bought Jeep At N39.75m – Report


A report by CivicHive of BudgIT, a non-governmental organisation, has exposed how the Federal Ministry of Health awarded 15 out of 29 COVID-19 contracts to one company, needlessly bought a Prado at an over-inflated price of N39.75 million and purchased face masks outrageously at N20,467 each to the tune of N37.06 million in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 15 contracts, worth N444.28 million, were reportedly awarded to Marvelous Mike Press Limited. The report said the Health Ministry disbursed N970.25 million, which was sourced from the COVID-19 intervention fund, and over 50 percent of that money was given to Marvelous Mike Press Limited.

In a series of tweets on Monday, CivicHive said a sum of N3.03 billion had been spent by seven government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on COVID-19 contracts. It attributed several “inflated payments” for the different contracts to closed procurement process.

According to the report, N489.14 million was spent by the Healt Ministry 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 group questioned the acquisition of a Prado jeep, purchased by the NCDC at the dubious rate of N39.75 million, asking what was the purpose of the vehicle amid the coronavirus pandemic?

The report further exposed that the federal ministry of health lavished N37.06 million on 1,808 pieces of face masks at the rate of N20,467 each.

CivicHive of BudgIT tweeted, “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 also 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 clearly describing the items purchased with the funds.

It accused most of the MDAs of lack of transparency in their procurement process.

It said, “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.

“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.”

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