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Senate queries Permsec in Lai Mohammed’s Ministry over payment of N460 million for uncompleted projects

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Payment for uncompleted projects worth N460 million by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Culture, a Ministry supervised by Alhaji Lai Mohammed has drawn the ire of the Senate Committee.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Nebolisa Anako who effected the payment in 2015 had been earlier queried by the Auditor General of the Federation.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Uroghide issued the query for the payment of contractors which indicated a 100% payment of contracts sum in 2015.

Auditor General of the Federation’s query which the Committee dwelt on read: “A constituency project contract amounting to N51 million for the construction of roads, parking lots, drainage at Ureje Dam in Ado Ekiti showed various parts of the contract totaling N25. 5 million were paid for but not executed.

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“The Ministry should ensure the contractor either completed the work or refund the money collected and forward the recovery particulars for audit verification.

But, the Permanent Secretary in his written response said, ” The contractor has completed 60 percent and promised to hand over the projects on or before 30th June 2017 to the Minis vide the minutes of the meeting held with the contractors handling the contracts on the 20th April.”

However, the contractor is yet to complete the project as at the time the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry appeared before the Committee on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the way the contract was handled by the Ministry ordered the Permanent Secretary to go and get the contractor and complete the job.

Urhoghide said, “he was paid , he did not do half of the job and go and get him to complete that job until this man does this job, you will never have respite, whether it is constituency project, it is irrelevant. ”

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Also in the another query which reads, “A visit to a contact amounting to N132 million for construction of Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti of Ekiti State, revealed that some parts of the contract amounting to N5 million were paid for but not completed.

“A visit to a contract amounting to N138 million for the construction of Event centre/Resturant at Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State which was fully paid showed that the contract was not completed.

“The Ministry should cause the contractor to complete the contract valued at N19 million were paid for but not executed. ”

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The Permanent Secretary however was unable to convince the Committee that contract was completed and the lawmakers sustained the query.

In another query, the Senate queried the Ministry payment of N17 million for uncompleted project for the construction of fence at Exekuna cultural museum in Nchi-Onu, Amuzu Ezza local government in Ebonyi state.

The Committee said, ” The contract amounting to N6 million was not constructed. As a result all over the fence, some. Parts were also broken in the site.

“Audit inspection visit to a contract amounting to N122 million for construction of fence, gate House at Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado Ekiti of Ekiti State, revealed that painting and external electrical works being part of the contract were not completed.

“The Ministry should cause the contractor to complete the work or refund the appropriate amount involved.”

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