FG speaks on contracts approval days to May 29, says ‘government is a continuum’
The federal government has explained why it is still approving contracts worth billions of naira with less than 20 days to change power.
Minister of transportation, Muazu Sambo, said the current administration would continue to perform its duties until May 28 as constitutionally required.
Sambo spoke with state house correspondents after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
The council approved N449.9 million for the engagement of consultants for the development of a master plan for 17 airports.
The council also approved contracts for the Ogoni remediation in Rivers and a contract for the full development of the Shehu Shagari way for N91 billion.
The rehabilitation of several roads across the country was also approved.“Ladies and gentlemen, without any intentions of mischief, this government was elected to function from 2019 to precisely 29th of May 2023,” Sambo said.
“Should we now stop functioning one month before the next appointment because we’re coming to the end of the tenure?
“This government must work. We expect the next government to also work until the very last day of their tenure.”
Explaining why several contracts were approved, Sulaimon Adamu, minister of water resources, said the processes involved in awarding contracts take time.
Adamu said if the current administration was unable to complete what it started, the incoming government would continue with the process.
“If I may add, there are processes and this process has started. We’re still operating the 2022 budget,” Adamu said.
“These things are not just done in one day. We had lots of submissions to the bureau for public procurement to Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), all the agencies involved in the procurement, and they have to get ready.
“So, anytime they’re ready, it’s at that point that we have to submit. And like the minister of transportation said, we’re still in office technically until the 28th of May.
“So, we still have to operate. And this is the instruction that we have from Mr. President. That government must continue to function regardless of elections and so on. And so we’re just doing our duty.
“We do not control the process, but when it’s completed and we’re still in office, we’re duty-bound to bring these memos to the council to approve.
“Some of the very first memos we brought to council in 2015, for me, I had no idea when they started, but I had to be briefed. This was the way that it had to be and then we were brought in here.
“So, the government is a continuum. And it should be seen as such.”
He added that the current administration should be applauded for implementing projects and programs that were started by the previous government.
“We continued them, we didn’t jettison them, and we’re confident that the incoming administration will do the same,” he said.