BY THE EDITOR
More revelations have continued to emerge on the circumstances that has delayed the opening of the much talked about, so-called Five Star Central Hospital in Benin City, Edo State.
The hospital which was constructed with so much noise and fanfare by the former governor of the State, now national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, has been engrossed in controversy – in particular, that of sleaze.
Midwest Herald has reliably gathered that the supply of the hospital equipment suffered hiccups, despite the fact that the state government under the administration of the APC national chairman made full payment in US Dollars, because the contract was awarded to a Front company owned by a caterer instead of Vamed Engineering Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Austrian firm.
Our inside source explained that the contract was allegedly awarded by Mr. Adams Oshiomhole to a female caterer long-standing friend who in turn sub-contracted the supply to Vamed Engineering. The said caterer had the so franchise for the catering services throughout the eight years of Oshiomhole’s administration in Edo State.
The deal went sour and turned rot when the portfolio ‘contractress’ decided to round-trip the proceed of total payment she received, in the foreign exchange market via one of the commercial bank (name withheld). The money used for the payment, Midwest Herald learnt was sourced from the second tranche of the World Bank $75million loan. Recall that Mr. Oshiomhole had informed President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians via the various networks that the ship bringing the equipment was on the high-sea.
“Mr. President, I only hope that the entire equipment we ordered were in but in few weeks time, they will all arrive,” Oshiomhole explained at the commissioning.
However, Midwest Herald’s investigation shows that the contract shortly after commissioning faced multiple hurdles.
The biggest set-back was the illegal diversion of the contract money to the private account of the front company who in-turn, fraudulently round-tripped the funds severally before she eventually got trapped in the devaluation of Naira early in the administration of President Buhari.
This round tripping adventure suddenly turned a well thought-out project that was designed to be a flagship investment for the state to a comatose.
What followed is the piecemeal supply of the equipment by Vamed Engineering, as the company insisted on supplying equipment that were relative to the amount paid by the proxy contractor.
Attempts by Mr. Oshiomhole to get discounted forex on behalf of the sultry friend, did not yield enough results. Vamed Engineering was left with no option but to reprice the items.
The latest efforts by Governor Godwin Obaseki to “recalibrate” some of the equipment is due to the incomplete supply of vital components of some equipment.
Midwest Herald search revealed that spokesman of Vamed Engineering, Mr. Anthony Azodo, may have tactically excused the company from the failed contract when he told Daily Trust sometime ago that, “100 percent of the equipment in the bill of quantity have been installed.”
What this means is that Vamed has supplied only the items that the proxy ‘contractress’ has paid for and not what Edo State ordered.
“All equipment and office furniture have been supplied and installed to full capacity at the hospital.”
He further explained that the equipment came in batches adding that 100 percent of the equipment in the “bill of quantity have been installed.”
He admitted that the hospital was not fully equipped as at the time President Buhari commissioned it because of the sudden rise in the price of dollar.