The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday unveiled over 700 pre-qualification documents of bidders for the 2020 capital projects of the corporation.
Managing Director, Mr Fidet Okhiria, explained at the event held in Lagos that the corporation was determined to follow 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 IRR will authenticate through the PPP. Once that is achieved, we will do the evaluation and after that, come up with the qualified people before we move to the final stage,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) 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.