Cereals board on spot over Sh400m gunny bags tender

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 00:00 |
Public Accounts Committee chairman Opiyo Wandayi. Photo/PD/FILE

Members of the National Assembly want the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to reveal names of all the directors and companies that won the multi-million shilling tender to supply gunny bags.

The Public Accounts Committee made the order after it emerged that the cereals board irregularly awarded various companies Sh401.5 million worth of tenders to supply 3.2 million gunny bags.

The move came after MPs learnt that NCPB used a restricted tender method instead of an open one. 

Documents tabled before the committee showed that NCPB procured 2.7 million new jute bags valued at Sh386.1 million as well as  525,000 polypropylene  (PP) bags valued at Sh15.3 million.

In a meeting held between the committee, Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga and  NCPB director Joseph Kimote, the MPs heard how one company— Green Land Suppliers— which supplied 2.7 million gunny bags at a cost of Sh386.1 million was used as a broker to supply the maize bags  from India and Bangladesh.

Confirm pricing

The legislators questioned why NCPB failed to procure the bags directly from the two countries to save on costs.

Led by the committee chair Opiyo Wandayi,  MPs Peter Masara (Suna West), Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) vowed to get to the bottom of the matter to establish whether the public got value for money in the purchase.

“We shall go to the bottom of this matter to put this mischief to an end. This is a clear case of rip off,” said Wandayi. 

Kimote had earlier admitted that it would have been cheaper to procure the bags directly from the manufacturer. 

He said the NCPB board will ensure procurement issues are addressed and all loopholes sealed.

Boga exonerated the department, saying all the procurement processes happened at NCPB. 

In the deal, three other companies were awarded the tender to supply the Polypropylene bags, including Rai Plywood’s that supplied 45,000 bags (Sh1.72 million) and Trans Global Distributors that supplied 20000 bags (Sh561,400).

The meeting came after the Auditor General in his report raised questions on the procurement of the gunny bags as no documents were provided to confirm the agreed pricing. 

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