Nigeria: Open Your Doors To Eminent Indigenes Of Kaduna State — Tijjani Ramalan To El-Rufai

By Amos Tauna

Executive Chairman of ATAR Communication Nigeria Limited, Tijjani Ramalan, has tasked governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State in northern Nigeria, to open his doors to advise from eminent indigenes of the state.

“It is in your best interest as a leader and also take note that the crop of your advisers who rally around you calling you Mallam are not helping matters,” Ramalan advised El-Rufai.

Responding to the letter written to the ‘Kaduna Restoration Group’ by Samuel Aruwan, the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Ramalan said, “Though his write-up touches some areas outside my personality, I hereby response on only issues relating to Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan.

Aruwan had responded harshly to a letter by the Restoration Group calling on Gov. El-Rufai to run an open government. Aruwan had tagged key leaders of the group as non-indigenes of Kaduna state.

On the concept of digitization of Kaduna State Media Corporation, KSMC, Ramalan said, “The accusation on the issue of conflict of interest where ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited can be a Consultant to the KSMC digitalization is in bad faith by the Kaduna State Government. The concept of the consultancy project started in 2007 and signed in 2011 while the Liberty Television came on board in 2014 and is still offering services to the Kaduna State Government and Nigeria at large.

“The concept of Digitalization of KSMC started in 2007 during the era of Governor Namadi Sambo. However, the contract for consultancy was duly awarded to ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited during the tenure of Late Mr. Patrick Yakowa after all due process compliance including the State Assembly ratification in its sitting of 19th October, 2011 and that of the State Executive Council in its sitting of 25th May, 2011.

“The approval was conveyed to ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited through an award letter signed by the then Commissioner of Information (Alh. Saidu Adamu) dated 26th May, 2011.

“The scope of work as contained in the signed agreement consist of the Assessment and Technical Evaluation visits to KSMC sites. Feasibility studies. Production of Designs and Bill of Quantities. Project Supervision, Monitoring, Evaluation and Certificate of all Installations. Building Construction supervision with State Ministry of Works. Factory Pre-inspection of Equipment visit in China. Customs clearing and forward of Containers to Kaduna KSMC Site.

“On the 25th of May, 2012, a request for advance payment having completed the Technical Assessment and Evaluation visit to the proposed KSMC TV sites and the 23 LGs Areas for full coverage of the entire state with China Potevio Engineers. Developing the Kaduna State Topography report on proposed KSMC TV Sites in the State.

“Geological Survey on all the proposed KSMC TV Sites in the State. Soil Test for all KSMC Proposed TV sites for the erection of towers. Visits to Kano and Jos to inspect public and Private TV Stations sites with Potevio China Engineers. Production of designs and Bill of Quantities of the project that led to the signing of Commercial Contract Agreement on the 2nd May, 2011 between the Kaduna State Ministry of Information and China Beijing Great Dragon information Technology Co. Ltd China at the project cost of USD $32.6M.

“Production of Building Designs of the Proposed TV sites in the State. Feasibility/Technical report on the assessment visit to the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State. Legal opinion and reports by Templars – Lagos, an Independent Legal Firm as required by the Chinese Exim Bank on the Draft Loan Agreement for Citic Bank China and EXIM Bank of China which ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited paid on behalf of Kaduna State Government.

“Foreign visits to China with the Kaduna State Government officials to negotiate the Draft and Loan Contract in February, 2012 with Citic Bank China, Potevio and EXIM Bank of China which was fully financed by ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited.

“With the above, the position of ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited is that there was a Legally Signed Contract with the Kaduna State Government on the Digitalization Project of the KSMC which is subsisting and that was why the Governor approved the part-payment of N17 million after the confirmation of successful completion of 75% of the scope of work.

“It is our believe that a so called transparent Government of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai cannot afford to pay the sum of N 17million to a Contractor that has no contract with them. In this regard, we may have to seek for the enforcement of our right in the Court of Law for the resolution of our Legal Dues, the Subsisting Contract and the balance payment of N84,248,939.12. May I rest my case at this point.

On the issue of his resignation as KADFAMA Chairman,  Mr. Ramalan explained, “The issue of my resignation as KADFAMA Chairman in December, 2016 was based on the fact that there was undue interference of the activities of the Board and the running of the agency by the Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Mr. Jimi Lawal.

“The board was not left to be independent of itself but teleguided by the Special Adviser in question. He gives directives to the D.G unilaterally including the aborting of the bidding process of the Asset Register Consultancy Project to favour an unknown company which he claimed to be recommended by the World Bank.

“These were not acceptable by me because I cannot afford to be used as rubber stamp for some dubious transactions on behalf of Kaduna State by Mr. Jimi Lawal as the Board Chairman hence my resignation honourably.

On the award of contract to his son, the Executive Chairman noted, “The process for the award of contract to renovate KADFAMA Head Office awarded to my Son’s Company preceded my appointment as the Chairman of KADFAMA Board.

“There was never a Memo  by the D.G KADFAMA to the Board during my tenure. This information is therefore misleading and mischievous which I strongly welcome any investigation on the matter. The little information I gathered from my son was that his company responded to an advert of the job by purchasing tender documents on the 26th of July, 2016. After passing all the relevant due process, the head quarters of his company was inspected and verified by officials of the Kaduna State Government on the 23rd September, 2016.

“Subsequently, his company was awarded the renovation contract by the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authoirty (KADSPPA) on the 22nd December, 2016. While the agreement was signed by the two parties on the 16th January, 2017. To put on record there was no contract award approved by the Board within the three (3) sittings of the Board during my short stay.

“The issue of the contract for the provision and maintenance of communication equipment handled by ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited has been on since 2009. We have designed, supplied, installed and maintained Motorola Communication System for the Operation Yaki from 2009 to the last administration until your administration came on board in 2015.

“It is sad that since your emergence as Governor of Kaduna State, the issue of Communication equipment for the security surveillance of the State has been neglected. Though a professional proposal was submitted to your office on 15th October, 2015 for the upgrading and maintenance of the Operation Yaki Communication Network in the State which will be compatible with the existing communication network of the Army, Police and Operation Yaki outfit in the State.

“However, the Government discarded this professional proposal and allowed the Coordinator of Operation Yaki to purchase new communication equipment that is not compatible with the existing Network as such the Communication Network in the State is now down as there are no links between the Headquarters and other substations around the State. This is now a big challenge in the fight against Terrorism, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the State.

“My reaction to the appointees of the Governor that are non indigenes and of questionable and dubious character holding sensitive position was actually the views of the majority party faithfuls of the APC and most people of the State.

“I am still of the opinion that the State Governor should copy the Federal Government’s Local Content and Community empowerment policy which is similar to the Late Northern Premier’s policy of Northernisation in public offices of the region and which policies is now used by the Niger Delta Governors, IOCs to reduce Militancy and Regional Agitation.

“This cannot be same with the appointment of people like Jimi Lawal, Muyiwa Adekeye and Martins Akamaze. One of the danger of this is absence of the heavy voice of Kaduna State at the National Council of Information because of the scraping of the Ministry of Information to favour the appointment of Muyiwa Adekeye, as your Special Adviser Media and Communications which I still maintain is not in the interest of Kaduna State.”

Posted by on 18/07/2017. Filed under Conflict, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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