NCDC awarded N43.5 million to non-existent company

A new investigation by MAWA foundation revealed how The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) awarded the N43.5 million ($108,000) Adamawa COVID19 Testing Centre to a non-existent company.

Budeshi, a web platform that links budget and procurement data to different public services using the Open Contracting Data Standards, had last year published how the NCDC expended the sum of N43.5 million for the establishment of Molecular Laboratory Testing Centre in Adamawa State, using M/s Malina Pharmaceutical Limited as a contractor. A publication that triggered MAWA Foundation interest leading to an investigation that has since revealed NCDC awarded the contract to a fake and non-existing company.

MAWA Foundation investigating the deal, using the Freedom of Information, wrote a letter to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), asking it to provide her with the names of the individual owners of M/S Malina Pharmaceutical Limited and its office contact address, a company NCDC claims it awarded the contract.

The CAC in a response to MAWA Foundation FOI request, in a letter dated 22nd day of December 2020, signed by Maimunat Aliyu, said there is no record of M/S Malina Pharmaceutical Limited readily available as a registered entity.

It however asked MAWA Foundation to forward any other available document at its disposal to help investigate the company further.

MAWA Foundation while investigating the deal further, using the FOI wrote to NCDC on the 16th day of December 2020, asking it to provide her with the report of procurement /tender bid leading to the selection of M/S Malina Pharmaceutical Limited for the award of the contract.

Also, MAWA demanded a copy or evidence of advertisement leading to the selection of M/S Malina Pharmaceutical Limited and a bank statement of all payments made to M/S Malina Pharmaceutical Limited regarding the contract execution.

A request NCDC has since refused to respond to despite a follow-up letter it received on the 18th day of January 2021.

When MAWA Foundation sought NCDC explanation regarding a response to the FOI, an official who is in charge of mails at the NCDC Director-General office, said the centre has no response.

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