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NABTEB Sacked Board Boss Accuses Registrar Of 42 Contracts Without Approval !

More revelations emerged on Wednesday when the Chairman of the dissolved Governing Board of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board, Prof Leonard Shilgba, released the report of the committee set up to investigate corruption and malpractices within the body.

The investigative report, obtained by our correspondent, showed that NABTEB, under the Registrar, Prof Ifeoma Abanihe, allegedly “awarded 42 contracts between February and March 2018 worth N154,813, 000 without going through due process.”

The report also stated that the “contracts were hurriedly awarded, split into units and were not given to the President through the Ministry of Education for approval.”

NABTEB had been in crisis since Monday when the governing board suspended the registrar, Abanihe and four NABTEB directors over N49m contracts allegedly unaccounted for.

The suspension had followed the panel report which uncovered irregularities in contract awards, in which about N49,779,000 was allegedly unaccounted for by the registrar.

On Tuesday, it was reported that President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved the NABTEB board with immediate effect and reinstated the suspended Registrar and the four directors, in a statement signed by the Ministry of Education’s Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono.

The Chairman of the dissolved board, Shilgba, had been reported on Wednesday to have called on the President to look into the dissolution, insisting that the NABTEB board acted in line with its statutory powers.

Shilgba had stated that the board conveyed its panel report and recommendations to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and the Permanent Secretary, Echono, but no action was taken on those decisions.

On Wednesday, our correspondent obtained a copy of the eight-page investigative panel report, detailing the irregularities and misappropriations uncovered in the examinations body.

In Section 5 of the report headlined, “Violation of the Procurement Process,” it was stated that that 42 contracts amounting to N154,813,432 were awarded without approval.

The report partly read, “The committee scrutinised the Registrar’s contract awards between February 21 and March 14, 2018. The findings are that 42 contracts amounting to N154,813,432 were split as follows; 15 separate contracts for printing, 14 separate contracts for the supply of HP LaserJet Toner, the rest went to the supply of printers, hard-drives, office flat files, envelopes and photocopying machines.

“There were no units specified and it was not possible to determine unit costs or quantities of all items. The contracts did not go through due process. The awarding authority in this respect was the Management Tenders Board. The contracts were hurriedly awarded, split into units and were not given to the President through the Ministry of Education for approval as the amount involved was beyond the powers of the Management Tenders Board.”

Our correspondent observed that the investigative panel report was signed by Dr Charles Osahon as Chairman, Dr Rachel Akpabio, Mr J.O. Oke and Mr Tina Eyaru as members and Dr Titus Umoru as the secretary.