According to Wole Oke, chairman of the house committee on public accounts, the ministry made the disclosure in response to an investigation into the department’s use of N18.9 billion.
A contract worth N18.9 billion to clear bush, prepare the ground, and restore soil plant laboratories before the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown is being investigated by a house committee.
While the country was on lockdown due to COVID-19, the federal ministry of agriculture awarded contracts for bush clearing totaling around N18 billion. These contracts were for purposes including land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab, and others. “We can’t shave their heads without them,” Mr. Oke said.
He went on to say that the committee had requested a meeting with the project’s implementation firms.
We’ve extended an open invitation for them to share their perspective with us in person, so that they can address our concerns and demonstrate the areas they claim to have cleared. The committee chair emphasized that “they have to take us to the land they cleared.”
The agriculture ministry has been invited and has submitted their findings, he continued. Since some of our representatives whose districts the projects were meant to benefit have expressed skepticism about their very existence, we have extended an invitation to the companies that were awarded the contracts to “come and tell this committee where the jobs were executed and when.”
Mr. Oke assured us that the committee would look into every aspect of the contract that was relevant.