The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday unveiled over 700 pre-qualification documents of bidders for the 2020 capital projects of the corporation.
Its Managing Director, Mr Fidet Okhiria, said at the event held in NRC Headquarters, Ebute Meta, Lagos, that the corporation was determined to follow the due process to the letters and ensure transparency.
Okhiria said that though, the Coronavirus pandemic had delayed the process, the management would expedite actions on the corporation’s goal in the budget year.
He was represented by Mr Niyi Alli, the NRC Director of Operations.
“We have to come up with an ingenious way of ensuring that the process is being completed, and we are trying to make sure that it is transparent as required by the laws of the land.
“None of the bidders are present, however, we still have to ensure that the government procedures are followed.
“This is why we have independent observers to ensure that though, the bidders are not present, they can vouch for the process.
“The NRC is determined to follow to the letters, the Procurement Act that guides this process,” Okhiria said.
He urged those involved in the pre-qualification exercise to ensure that the process was duly followed and be as transparent as it could be, to achieve success.
According to him, though, the process is late, a lot of things to be done with the money has been identified with the scope, and in a short while, all the contracts will be awarded for the good of Nigerians.
“We have categories of work we want to do; we have things like maintenance of our locomotives, procurements of spare parts and others to ensure we provide quality service for Nigerians,” he added.
Speaking, Mr Benjamin Iloanusi, the NRC Director of Procurement, said that the step was part of the fulfilment of the due process by the Public Procurement Act.
Iloanusi said the corporation was advised not to allow bidders to attend the process, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the development occasioned invitation of independent observers to monitor the process.
Iloanusi added that the proceedings were being recorded as well for the corporation to share with the public in a bid to ensure transparency.
“There are about three categories they are bidding for: the goods, the works and the consultancy.
“We have about three lots under the goods, nine lots under the works category and five lots under the consultancy category.
“Today, all we are doing is opening the pre-qualification documents as submitted by the bidders. Then, we are looking at the presence of the eligibility documents.
“We are not authenticating as it is now; we will authenticate through the relevant regulatory bodies.
“There are just over 700 documents we have received and that is what we are opening,” Iloanusi said.
The director, who assured the bidders of absolute transparency in the entire process, said that next step would be actual evaluation.
“There are a couple of stages. Once we are done with this, we will go through authentication of the documents with the regulatory bodies.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that top management staff of NRC, members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were present the event as observers.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Edo 2020: Voters observe social distancing
Voters in Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s polling unit, Oredo Ward 4, Emokpae Model Primary School, Benin City, were seen observing physical distancing, washing hands and wearing face masks to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
News Agency of Nigeria , reports that aside security check points provided at the centre of the community, residents moved around freely with their face masks.
Miss Esosa Igbinegin, a voter in Oredo Ward 1(unit 3), said that voters were observing the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Voting is going on well here and no issues at all.
“We are all on our face masks as directed,” she said.
Miss Ehi Osagie, another voter in Oredo Ward 1 (unit 3), said that security personnel were working hard to ensure a hitch-free election.
“Security teams are working well, voting is ongoing peacefully in this Ward,” she said.
Meanwhile, voters in Oredo Ward 12 with 6 units in Oba market were wearing face masks but not observing physical distancing.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide
Ember Months: FRSC urges motorists to drive patiently, apply controlled-speed
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has advised motorists to be patient and apply controlled-speed on the highways during this Ember-months period.
The FRSC Sector Commander in Enugu State, Mr Ogbonnaya Kalu, gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Saturday.
NAN reports that the Ember-months included the months of September, October, November and December.
According to Kalu, the insinuation that blood sucking demons take over roads during Ember-months period is never true.
“It is human negative attitude that most times lead to increase in crashes and even deaths,’’ he said.
“The major causes of possible increase in road crashes in this period remained human impatient and negligence.
“The human deficiencies stem from impatience and anxiety to meet up personal or group target before the year runs out.
“With impatience and anxiety to meet up target; most motorists care less about other road users and even their own health and body system during this period.
“Another is the negligence of pushing out mechanically deficient vehicles during this time to make more money or returns even at the detriment of passengers and other road users as well,’’ he said.
The sector commander noted that due to the perceived human deficiencies leading to crashes; the command had already embarked on massive road safety education in parks, churches, mosques and public gatherings in the state.
According tp him, as the lead agency on road traffic management and safety; we are all out this season to ensure our people are educated and they are very cautious driving in the not friendly weathers such as rain and harmattan seasons during the Ember-months period.
“Our education also covers the need for motorists and transporters to adhere to the guidelines on COVID-19 prevention as far as vehicular movement of humans and goods are concerned,’’ he said.
He noted that the command would also carry out road audit; vehicular logistic repairs and maintenance for special end of the year and festive operation and improve on joint patrols with sister security agencies.
He said that the corps was determined to reduce crashes in the state to zero level at the end of the Ember Months this year.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Edo Polls: Ize-Iyamu votes at Ugboko ward 4, commends conduct of Election
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo Governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19 cast his vote at Ugboko ward 4, unit 26, Orhionmwon Local Government Council of the state at about 9: 25 a.m.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Ize-Iyamu joined the queue at his polling unit located at Iguododo Primary school at about 9:20a.m. before casting his vote at about 9: 25a.m.
Speaking to journalists after exercising his franchise, Ize-Iyamu commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the peaceful and smooth electoral process.
“The process is good and going on smoothly; there is no thuggery and violence, the place is peaceful and calm.
“I am happy that INEC has a thermometer to check temperature and they also give out face masks to our people.
“We encourage our people to come out in batches so they can strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols of social distances”.
He said he had not been able to get information about the conduct of the election across the state due to the poor network at his voting community.
He expressed optimism that he would emerge victorious in the election saying, “I am confident of victory across the 18 LGAs of the State”.
NAN reports that accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously at Ugboko ward 5, unit 26 at about 8: 46 a.m. amidst the presence of security personnel.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maharazu Ahmed
Edo election: Presiding officers insist on no face masks, no voting
Presiding Officers in the Edo governorship election have said that no electorate will be allowed to vote without wearing a face mask in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
They also insist on adherence to social distancing as provided in the guidelines for the conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Oyesanmi Ezekiel, the presiding officer at Central Primary School, Iruekpen, told the eligible voters to wear face masks before voting in units 3, 4 and 5 at Iruekpen.
As part of efforts to ensure compliance with social distancing, Ezekiel marked out areas that the electorate could stand before being allowed to vote.
“The medicated spirit will be used to clean the card reader as well as fingers of each voters before voting,” he said.
The situation, however, was not the same at Ward 5 Uniit 2, where voters did not observe INEC guidelines on social distancing for the poll.
But in Emaudo Ward 4, Unit 14, Esan West Local Government, both voters and INEC officials complied with the protocols.
Hawkers of face masks used the no face masks no voting to make quick money across the various polling units visited.
The face masks sellers who sell each mask for N100, witnessed high patronage from voters who came without one.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan