The Former Permanent Secretary at the then Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mohamed Nallo, has revealed to the on-going Commission of Enquiry that all SABAU Contract Bonds are under lock and key.
This was revealed to the Commission during the cross examination of a testifying witness by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Serry Kamal, in the presence of Commissioners Augustine W King, Johannes E Elliot and the Chairman Gambian born Justice G Semega Janneh.
He told the Commission that the Former Minister of Education Dr. Alpha Wurie did not sign most documents; citing minutes of various Managerial meetings and other relevant documents related to the SABAU project.
Nallo further noted that the SABAU Project mainly focused on the construction and rehabilitation of schools, Vocational Centers and the supply of learning materials across the country; which was largely championed by Service Providers and monitored by the Government and funding agencies including ADB and the World Bank.
During the cross examination the Attorney General said that investigations have revealed that out of 10 projects only three were completed; and contractors have abandoned the project sites without completing the contract agreement.
He also made mention of a FAWE Project at Waterloo which was not effectively monitored, noting that some of the projects were substandard but the Education Ministry commissioned them without considering the quality of the project.
Responding, Nallo disclosed that he only witnessed the commissioning ceremony after the FAWE School have been painted flashily; and that he could not determine the quality of the structure since he is not an architect, but that he was satisfied with the structures after inspecting it briefly.
He also confirmed to the Commission that, contractors deliberately abandoned some SABABU funded projects with impunity as proper mechanism was not put in place by the Government, to ensure full compliance of the contract agreement.
He told the Commission that during his tenure of office as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education for a period of nine months, contracts were not signed with any contractor.
Another witness who was also cross-examined was Randy Kabia from the Procurement Unit of the Education Ministry, who told the Commission that he assumed office in December 2007 and could not give details about previous procurements.
He revealed that the SABABU Project is not making use of the National Public Procurement Act, which was established by Parliamentary Act of 2004, noting that the Education Ministry normally works with ADB and World Bank Procurement policies.
The Chairman of the Commission concluded the hearing by requesting that other Permanent Secretaries at the Education Ministry be invited for cross –examination and adjourned the hearing to Friday 31 October 2008.
By Saidu Bah