The chairman of Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Stephen odey, has described the allegation of irregularities in the Board’s award of contracts as cheap blackmail by desperate and mischief political characters in the state to undermine the very positive revolution of Governor Ben Ayade’s led administration in the educational sector.
The SUBEB chairman who refuted the false claim on the contract award said the report was “baseless, unfounded malicious and aimed at misleading Cross Riverians and the general public”.
According to him following His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade’s release of 3.8b to enable SUBEB access its Matching grant from 2012-2015, SUBEB immediately swung into action, and got approval from His Excellency and the Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau to do selective tendering for supplies/professional services under 2012-2015 UBEC Matching grant.
To this end, Dr Odey stated that In a bid to always keep the public informed about SUBEB activities, ‘the board decided to have it published in the Cross River State Tenders’ Journal of Wednesday, August 31st – Tuesday September 13th, 2016” .
Noting that, the opening of technical & financial bids for the selective tendering was done on the 13th of September, 2016, in the conference room of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), with a representative of the Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau and other contractors present.
‘After this was done, SUBEB proceeds to place advertisement for pre-qualification of contractors for other projects; the Invitation to Tender was published in the Nigerian Chronicle of Wednesday, September 14th 2016 and the Cross River State Tenders’ Journal of Wednesday September, 14 – Thursday 27 September. The bid opening for this set of jobs was done on Tuesday, 18th October and Wednesday 19th October 2016, with representatives of Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau, Department of Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), members of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Network (NGO), and Contractors in attendance.” He added
Giving further insight on the process, the SUBEB chairman explained that the selective tendering and competitive bidding were two different things which should not be mixed-up as has been done by in the publication.
He condemned the deliberate and cheap mischief by some Cross Riverians who should rather support the innovative development, governor Ayade has brought to the state than their desperate posture to undermine all the great works the present government have done in the state. While charging the media to be more responsible in their discharge of their duties by reporting the fact and uphold the truth at all times.
He insisted SUBEB under him, will remain transparent, focus and totally committed to improving the standard of basic education in the state in line with global best practice,”