Oluebube Chukwu, senior special assistant to the Abia State Governor on Due Process and Procurement, has advised all Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to adhere strictly to the annual budget estimates approved by the State House of Assembly, for each fiscal year when embarking on Capital Projects.
Chukwu gave the advice while addressing Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, Abia commissioner for Environment, and members of the Management team of the Ministry who came on a fact-finding interactive meeting in his office at the Government House, Umuahia.
The Governor’s aide who emphasized on the importance of budgetary adherence, commended the Ministry for their commitment to ensuring that every project undertaken by their Ministry adheres strictly to the Financial Regulations of the state.
He stressed that the era of unregulated projects exceeding MDA’s thresholds without adhering to the necessary due process procedures had come to an end, as it had previously led to financial wastage and misappropriation of government funds, orchestrated by individuals with malicious intentions against the state.
Chukwu, who outlined the stringent Due Process procedures, which include the Ministry’s Tenders Board conducting preliminary checks on projects and contractors, and the issuance of a Certificate-Of-No-Objection to successful contractors, said, “Governor Alex Chioma Otti’s administration has jettisoned any form of shortcuts and practices that have impeded development in the state, and has made it mandatory for all contracts to be executed by all Ministries and Agencies to pass the Due Process tests.
“For any Project to be executed in the state, the Ministry’s Tenders Board, after publishing adverts for bids, will conduct all necessary pre-qualification preliminary checks of the croject and the contractors, and will forward the details of the successful contractor to Due Process Office, who will at that stage, issue a Certificate-Of-No-Objection to the successful contractor.
“For Capital projects above the threshold of each Ministry, the Due Process Office will forward the contract documents to the State Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&G), who, after satisfactory checks, will issue a recommendation letter to the Due Process Office.
“The Due Process Office then prepares the Due Process Compliance Certificate in company with the Recommendation Letter from F&G, which will be forwarded to the State Executive Council through the State F&G, and receives approval from them, before sending it back to the MDA.
“The MDA then forwards it to the Ministry of Justice for vetting, agreement, and other official actions. The contract documents will finally be brought back to the Due Process Office, who issues the Due Process Certificate, authenticating that required steps were taken in line with approved standards,” Chukwu explained.
He disclosed that the Due Process office, with the directive of the state Governor, is building a Data Bank of all government Registered Contractors in the state and urged Ministries executing projects in the state to liaise with the Due Process Office for easy assessment.
Otti’s aide also hinted that his office would soon embark on a performance review programme of all government projects in the state, to ensure quality compliance.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and the Abia State Commissioner for Environment, Philemon Ogbonna, expressed their commitment to aligning with the state government’s approved standards in contract awards and formalities.
Ogbonnaya, who applauded Chukwu for his guidance on current contract award trends, assured that the Ministry of Environment would ensure strict compliance with all the required processes, adding that they would not hesitate to consult the Due Process Office for further guidance.