President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration clarified on Wednesday why it approved multibillion-naira contracts with 18 days remaining in office.
Mu’azu Sambo, the Minister of Transportation, and Sulaiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, explained this following the cabinet meeting.
Sambo, while reacting to a query that sought to know the reason for the award of contracts which the outgoing ministers would not execute due to expiration of tenure on May 29, said the administration would continue to perform its duties up to May 28.
He stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, without malice, this government was elected to serve from 2019 until the exact 29th of May, 2023. Should we now cease operations one month prior to the next appointment because the term is drawing to a close?
“This government must work. We anticipate the next administration to work until their very last day in office.”
Adamu stated that contracted processes require time and that the incoming administration will proceed from where the current administration left off, as government is a continuum.
He stated, “If I may add, there are processes, and they have begun.” We’re still operating the 2022 budget, we have agencies. These tasks cannot be completed in a single day.
“We submitted numerous proposals to BPP and ICRC, as well as to all the agencies involved in the procurement, and they must now prepare.
“Therefore, we must submit whenever they are ready. According to the Minister of Transportation, we are technically in office until May 28. So, we still have to operate. And this is the directive we have received from the President.
“Since the elections were conducted, that government must continue to function regardless of elections and so on. Thus, we are simply serving our country as we are required to.
“We do not control the process, but when it is completed and we are still in office, we are duty-bound to bring these memos to Council for Council to approve. Administration is a continuum. There are still numerous memoranda.
“I can assure you a lot of contracts will not see the light of day in the next one week or two. And for them, we have no choice but to allow the process to continue. And then for the next government to come and continue. That is also our situation.
“Some of the very first memos we brought to council in 2015, I had no clue when they began, but I had to be briefed because this was how it had to be, and then they were brought in here. Government is therefore a continuum. As such, it should be regarded.
“And I believe this administration deserves complete credit because, since 2015, we have continued to implement projects and programmes that we did not initiate but that, in our estimation, were beneficial to the country. We did not abandon them, and we are confident that the incoming administration will continue them.