The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has, through negotiations and compromise, saved the Federal Government a staggering sum of N119,369,520,000 court liability resulting from a judgement entered against it over a litigation from a metering contract awarded by the previous administration in 2003.
This was confirmed by the Special Adviser on Communications to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Hakeem Bello, on Thursday. He said that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, disclosed this at a press briefing after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council Meeting, said one of the three memoranda the Ministry took to the Council for approval was in respect of an inherited liability from the former Ministry of Power.
According to Fashola, the officials of government varied the Presidential approval without seeking further directive from him and then awarded the contract on that basis adding that the party who was the beneficiary of that contract “which the officials subsequently sought to withdraw” went to court and got a judgment.
He added that the beneficiary of that contract, “which the officials subsequently sought to withdraw,” went to court and got a judgment.
The Minister, who cited the incident as an example of some of the problems inherited from the last administration, added;
“But we have successfully reached a compromise on that matter where the judgment has been compromised for the entire sum of N119 Billion to N19,369,520. So, Government is no longer liable , under this new agreement, to pay that amount.”
Pointing out that the negotiations took about the entire period of his tenure as Minister to achieve, the Minister added that the successful negotiation was able to free up another N39.17Billion held under another Judgement in court to be used now for the supply of electricity metres to the DisCos .
He added that all of the disputes arose from a contract to supply 3,000,000 metres entered into with the contractor and NEPA, which became PHCN, in 2003; about 14 years ago.
“The contract was never fully performed by both parties; either by the contractor or government. So, from the very early days, they ended up in court. Government constituted one committee after the other to resolve the matter. So, there was a court judgment, money was left in the bank, the purpose couldn’t be achieved. Then a new contract was created, which became a liability of N119bn,” he said.