Abubakar Gana, former Acting Registrar of National Examinations Council, was involved in a contract duplication scandal in which N548m remains unexplained.
According to documents seen by SaharaReporters, Gana as acting head of the examination council single-handedly approved and awarded frivolous and non-existent contracts worth N512,794,078.12 out of already awarded contracts for printing of sensitive examination materials for 2019 June/July SSCE.
Award letters titled “Offer of contract for printing of 2019 SSCE (internal) sensitive examination materials” were issued to five companies on May 20, 2019, worth about N2bn.
The companies are Mercy Trust Nigeria Ltd, Ramadan Press Limited, Marvelous Mike Press Ltd, Binani Printing Press, and Yaliam Press Ltd.
The contracts include statutorily cover actual printing, collation, packaging of sensitive materials (question papers) into polythene bags and cartons (by custodian point), docketing of picking list for custodian points, sorting and loading of the materials for onward delivery to NECO headquarters and state offices nationwide.
Sources in NECO familiar with the contract processes told SaharaReporters that the costs of all these production activities were incorporated into the unit price of printing the sensitive materials.
The source said these production activities are all complementary processes for production and supply of the materials and cannot be separated without compromising the integrity of the sensitive materials.
It was learnt that despite knowing these procedures, the former Acting Registrar created another contract out of this with award letter titled “Award of contracts for docketing of picking list for custodian points, quarantine of staff, hiring of ad-hoc staff, sorting and packaging of sensitive examinations security materials” and awarded them to the same companies earlier awarded the original contracts for printing of the sensitive materials for NECO 2019 June/July SSCE.
“We know that the unit cost of printing the sensitive materials is inclusive of all the other services stated in the second contract. It is outrageous to think that NECO will pay for the hiring of ad hoc staff and quarantine of the staff of companies the council contracted to print its question papers. Section 16 (a, b, c, d) of the PPA 2007 is clear about the minimum capability of bidders before consideration.
“Another N35,481,230.98 was also siphoned using the same trick in the 2019 November/December SSCE, using the following companies: Ramadan Press Limited, Marvelous Mike Press Ltd, Binani Printing Press and Yaliam press Ltd. Clearly, the sum of N548,275,309.1 (five hundred and forty-eight million, two hundred and seventy-five thousand, three hundred and nine-naira, ten kobo) was siphoned this way using just two projects,” the source said.