REPS NEWS: N200B Misappropriation: Reps Investigate Ministry of Works
LEGISREPORTS NG – The Public Account Committee, PAC of the House of Representatives is to embark on a full scale investigation of the Federal Ministry of Works over several abandoned projects across the Country put at over N200 billion
The. Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Solomon Olamilekan Adeola disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja when the Officials of the Ministry led by its Permanent Secretary, Dr.A K Mohammed appeared before the Committee over 28 queries raised against it by the office of the Auditor -General of the Federation, AGF, for the Financial year ended on 31st,2010.
This is coming just the Committee revealed that it had uncovered another over N17billion reportedly paid out to contractors as mobilization fees but later abandoned the sites after the collection of the money while another Contractor, JMK Nigeria limited was accused of receiving about N2.2billion. from the Ministry as mobilization fees only for it to sublet the same contract to another Contractor.
The Committee immediately directed its Secretariat to write to the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to furnish it with necessary information about those behind the Company, JMK Mig. Ltd with a view to getting at the root of the matter.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon Adeola who made it clear that the Committee was not out to witch- hunt any Contractor or the officials of the Ministry accused the Site and District Engineers of the Ministry of collaborating with Contractors to milk the Federal Government of several billions of naira on jobs not done over the years, saying,
“it is time we started recommending the erring Engineers for trial because they are the ones on ground to see that all necessary things are done after which they will sign performance job certificates before any money is paid out”.
The Committee then gave the Ministry up till Tuesday next week to produce relevant documents on the over N200 billion abandoned projects from 1999 to 2008 to assist it on the proposed investigation while all Engineers connected with the affected projects should be produced before the Committee unfailingly,
According to Hon Adeola, the relevant documents include, “the list of the Contracts, the list of the Contractors,the contacts’ values, the amounts of money already paid out till date,the percentage of the jobs done,the dates the contracts were awarded and when they were abandoned and the engineers involved among others.
On the N401 million contract for the rehabilitation of the Auchi-Igara-Ibilo road in Edo state awarded since 2009 which over N200m had already been paid out which the AGF said was still in bad shape despite the money paid for the job and which the Ministry claimed had been properly executed, the Committee promised to visit the Road on Wednesday next week for on the spot assessment along with the officials of the Ministry and those of the AGF to know the next line of action to take.
This report was prepared by our reporter in Abuja