Wike accused of excessive spending, allocates N4 billion to renovate official residence
The Federal Capital Territory Administration faces a storm of controversy as allegations of extravagant spending under the tenure of Nyesom Wike, emerge.
Concerns have been raised over the renovation of the minister’s official residence at Lifecamp, budgeted initially at N150 million but purportedly awarded to Julius Berger for a staggering N3,762,500,000 just three months ago.
Documents obtained by THE WHISTLER shed light on the redirection of the renovation contract, reportedly orchestrated by Wike, utilizing the “Emergency Procurement” clause—a move heavily criticized by civil servants.
As per Section 43(1) of the Procurement Act, the clause reserves emergency procurement for situations involving national threats or natural disasters, which critics argue didn’t align with the renovation’s circumstances, as no damage was reported on the property.
Sources within the minister’s office disclosed that the renovation primarily involves basic tasks such as painting, piping works, electrical, and furnishings.
However, the escalated costs and deviation from procurement regulations have sparked public outcry and raised questions regarding fiscal prudence and adherence to due process.
The initial inclusion of the renovation project in the FCT 2023 Supplementary appropriation bill sent to the National Assembly saw the subsequent removal of specific mention of the minister’s residence.
Instead, the costs were consolidated into a broader category labelled “Renovation and Completion of Critical Infrastructure in the FCT,” totalling N13,762,500,000, a move viewed by some as protective of the minister amid scrutiny over the inflated contract sum.
A coalition comprising over 10,000 FCT indigenes and civil society groups had called for Wike’s resignation as Minister of FCT, citing alleged land grabbing and questionable actions.
The revelations have ignited public concern regarding financial accountability and adherence to procurement laws within the FCT Administration during Wike’s tenure.