Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has told Indian firms that he cannot give them contracts beyond his tenure which terminate on May 29, 2019.
The governor, speaking on Thursday in New Delhi, India, to representatives of firms who wanted contract that may take them up to six months to execute, said he would not award new contracts for any long term supplies that would extend beyond his tenure of office.
He said going into any long term agreement would amount to trapping and assuming the powers of the incoming Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.
He told the business community that he came to India mainly for the purpose of meeting medical equipment manufacturers to negotiate discounts and take immediate delivery of hundreds of light weight diagnostic equipment needed as daily components of high tech medical equipment that had already been imported and being installed in 18 General Hospitals, which have been overhauled, expanded and upgraded and seven newly built General Hospitals in different parts of Borno State.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau, who is part of the trip, said notwithstanding the Governor’s main purpose in India, he created a day to host different company delegations who used diplomatic contacts and existing relationships to request audience.
He said majority of the companies sought to be given contracts to make multi-sectoral supplies or carry out projects concerning education, agriculture, health care and vocational skills acquisition amongst others, most of which will take at least the next six months to take course. The Governor met them at a meeting room in Leelah hotel located at the Diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri in New Delhi.
The governor, was quoted as having said: “To be frank with you all, I do not intend to award any contract or enter into any new agreement that will extend my remaining two months in office. I am leaving office insha’Allah on May 29, 2019. To me, entering a new contract knowing full well that such contracts cannot be completed in the next two months will amount to disrespecting and perhaps even trapping the incoming Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.
“He is my brother and friend but part of my resolution is that there can’t be two captains in a ship. I will not trap him with any company. He has been part of most of my international trips. He is broad minded and has contacts, I will want him to make his own decisions because he is the one that will work with any supplier or contractor for anything I sign with any of you.
“It will be very unfair. I am sorry. I am mainly here to give executive orders when my commissioner of health who is consultant physician and a grounded administrator of hospitals, identifies light weight medical equipment that are the things we need. We have taken delivery of many high tech and bigger size medical equipment and we dealt directly with the manufacturers to negotiate good discounts for the state. These equipment are already installed and being put to use. However, there are many other light weight equipment for diagnosis that we need.
“The Commissioner knows them but because we need them urgently, I decided to come with him since he alone can’t give executive orders. He would keep referring to me if I don’t come and that will create delays. So, I will suggest that any company looking for new imports that will extend May 29 to get done, should please wait for the incoming Governor. I will not impose any contractor on him.”