Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has made a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), asking for the organization’s records and documents relating to its assets and properties.
In a Freedom of Information request dated May 31, 2013, signed by MRA’s Programmes Manager, Mr. Ayode Longe, and addressed to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, the organization is asking the Board to provide it within seven days, as required by the FOI Act.
In the request, MRA wants a list of all landed properties nationwide belonging to the Nigerian NEPC and the value or estimated value of each of the properties. The organization is also interested in the list of all the landed properties belonging to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council that that were sold or otherwise disposed of during the tenure of the current management of the Council, i.e. during the tenure of the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and the reason for the decision to sell or otherwise dispose of each of the affected properties.
MRA wants the Council should include the details of the names of the individuals, institutions, organizations, companies or other entities that bought each of the landed properties referred to in Paragraph (2) above and the amount for which each of them was sold or otherwise disposed of, including all commissions, agency fees, legal fees or other non-monetary consideration.
It is also asking the Council for copies of the minutes of the meeting or meetings where the decision or decisions to sell or otherwise dispose of the affected property or properties were taken; whether an Open Competitive Bidding, within the meaning of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, was adopted in receiving offers or bids for the purchase of each of the affected properties offered for sale, in accordance with Section 55(3) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and if so, copies of the advertisements soliciting for bids and other relevant records and documents relating to the entire disposal process, including copies of the letters or notifications sent to successful bidders or offerors informing them of the success of their bids or offers.
There are other documents that are of interest to MRA and they include the Valuation Report or Reports for the property or properties prepared by an independent evaluator before each of the property was disposed of or slated for disposal, in accordance with Section 56(1) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
MRA said it is interested in knowing whether the disposal of each of the properties referred to in Paragraph (2) above was planned and integrated into the income and expenditure budget projection of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, as required by Section 56(2) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and if so, all records and documents evidencing this.
According to MRA the Council should show whether the disposal of each of these properties was timed to take place when the most advantageous returns could be obtained for the relevant properties in order to maximize revenue accruing to the government, as required by Section 56(3) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and if so, what factors were taken into account in this regard in disposing of the properties at the time that the disposal took place.
Finally MRA asked in the request whether responsibilities for the disposal of each of the relevant properties were distributed between the Procurement Unit of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Tenders Board of the Council, as required by Section 56(4) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and if so, all records and documents evidencing the process.
NEPC is a Federal Public Institution that was set up to promote the development and diversification of Nigeria’s export trade; assist in promoting the development of export-related industries in Nigeria; to spearhead the creation of appropriate export incentive, to actively articulate and promote the implementation of export policies.
The Council has a governing Board drawn from both the Public and the Private sectors.