The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has through negotiations and compromise, saved the federal government a whopping sum of N119,369,520,000 resulting from a judgement entered against it over a litigation from a metering contract awarded by the previous administration in 2003.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who disclosed this at a press briefing after Wednesdayâ€™s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, said the 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.
He explained that the judgement came â€œas a results of acts of officials of government who varied the Presidential approval without seeking further directives from him.â€
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 â€œwhich the officials subsequently sought to withdrawâ€ 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, â€œBut 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 to, under this new agreement, to pay that amountâ€.
Pointing out that the negotiations took about the entire period of his tenure as minister to achieveâ€, 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 meters to the DisCos adding that all of the disputes arose from a contract to supply 3,000,000 meters entered into with the contractor and NEPA, which became PHCN, in 2003; about 14 years ago.
â€œThe 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 court judgement, money was left in the bank, the purpose couldnâ€™t be achieved. Then a new contract was created which