By Nathan Nwakamma
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has revoked the training contract awarded to Express Concern International (ECN) for ex-agitators in its novel Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) scheme.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Neotabase Egbe, the Special Adviser, Media to the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dikio (retd), made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Yenagoa.
It explained that the firm’s job was terminated for breaching the terms contained in the contract.
The statement is sequel to an allegation by a group, Concerned Indigenes of Oil Mineral Producing States Forum (CIOMPSF), that the company diverted funds it received from PAP.
Egbe said even before the group issued its statement, PAP had terminated the contracts of the defaulting firm.
He said the amnesty office had also activated its internal mechanism to retrieve the money it paid to the firm through a performance bond provided by the company.
The statement acknowledged the interests shown by various stakeholders in the affairs of PAP.
Egbe explained that under Dikio each job awarded by PAP was secured by a performance bond provided by the benefitting firm that enabled the amnesty office recover its money in an event of default by a contractor.
“The attention of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has been drawn to reports that a contractor, Express Concerns International Limited, has diverted money paid to them to train 90 ex-agitators in the agriculture value chain.
“Indeed, the PAP had contracted Express Concerns International Limited to train its beneficiaries. But the contract was terminated via a letter dated June 14th, 2022, because the contractor breached the terms of the agreement.
“Contracts are not awarded to just any body who submits a proposal, but to serious contractors, who have the capacity to deliver their contractual obligations.
“However, each job awarded by PAP has an insurance bond that ensures the scheme recovers its money in the event of default by contractors.
“Consequently, the PAP wrote to the guaranteeing firm/insurance company for the recovery of the mobilisation fee paid to the company.
“While the management of the PAP acknowledges the interests shown by various stakeholders in the affairs of PAP, let it be known that deliberate measures were put in place to reform contractual processes and block all loopholes that could be capitalised upon to dupe the programme.
“To all our concerned stakeholders and the general public, there is nothing to worry about as your concerns had been anticipated and taken care of through the various reforms initiated by the administration of Col. Dikio (rtd).
“We want to further assure all stakeholders that PAP’s contracts are designed for the benefits of the programme’s beneficiaries and not for the enrichment of any contractor,” the statement read in part. (NAN)