PERMANENT Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nebolisa Anako, has incurred the wrath of the Senate over alleged payment of N460 million to contractors for uncompleted projects in Ekiti State.

The payment, which indicated 100 percent payment of the contract sum, was contained in the Auditor- General of the Federation’s, AuGF, report to the upper legislative chamber

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), therefore, queried the permanent secretary as a result of a 2015 audited report submitted to it by the OAuGF.

“A constituency project contract amounting to N51 million for the construction of roads, parking lots, and drainage at Ureje Dam in Ado-Ekiti showed various parts of the contract totaling N25.5 million were paid for but not executed.

“The ministry should ensure that the contractor either completes the work or refund the money collected and forward the recovery particulars for audit verification,” the query read.

But, Anako, in his written response, said “the contractor has completed 60 percent and promised to handover the projects vide the minutes of the meeting held with the contractors handling the contracts on April 20.”

However, the contractor was yet to complete the project as at the time Anako appeared before the committee on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the way the contract was handled by the ministry and ordered Anako to ensure that the contractor completes the job.

“He was paid, he did not do half of the job, 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,” Urhoghide said.

Another query read “a visit to a contract amounting to N132 million for the construction of Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti 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 an event center/restaurant at Ureje dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State which was fully paid for, showed that the contract was not completed.

“The ministry should cause the contractor to complete the contract valued at N19 million.”

Anako, however, was unable to convince the committee that the contract was completed and the lawmakers sustained the query.

 


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