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Alleged N1bn projects scam: Nasarawa Assembly indicts SSG, to refund over N248. 5m

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Alleged N1bn projects scam: Nasarawa Assembly indicts SSG, to refund over N248. 5m

By David Odama – Lafia

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly committee investigating alleged N1 billion released in 2018 for the renovation and fencing of Secondary school projects  Monday indicted the Secretary to the Nasarawa State government.

The SSG who is the former Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani is to refund over N248.5m as unaccounted funds to the coffer of the state government.

Chairman of the committee, Daniel Oga-Ogazi disclosed this while presenting the committee’s reports on the floor of the house during it’s proceeding in Lafia.

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Ogazi explained that the former Commissioner displayed outright inefficiency, incompetency, and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties by mismanaging the government resources instructed under his care for the project meant to benefit the state.

According to him, based on the committee’s recommendations,  the total sum of N873, 233,942.60 was expended based on information obtained from the Payment Voucher (PVs) excluding 5% deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation (M $ E) as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.

According to the Committee Chairman, “we summoned the present   Commissioner for Education, her principal officers and management staff, the former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, the former Commissioner for Education and now SSG, Commissioner for Works, his principal officers as well as the contractors that handled various works. Where  the SSG  agreed to  take responsibility for his action

“The total contract sum released was N1, 084,000,000bn  only, when  N873, 233,942.60  is deducted from the total contract sum this will amount to N210, 766, 057.40. Then add 5% Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37, 718, 499.19. The total sum of unaccounted funds will amount to N248, 484,556.60,” Ogazi declared.

Ogazi said recommendations that contractors who completed their work be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors be refunded to government coffers immediately adding that funds be released to contractors with the capacity and ability to carry out the work.

While urging the government to declare a state of emergency on all the project sites to ensure its completion.

The committee Chairman called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation/fencing to do so within one month or face the consequences.

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Ogazi also urged the ministry of education to undertake on the spot assessment of all uncompleted projects to ascertain the level of work done and to make funds available for the completion of projects in the interest of development.

Earlier, Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House after receiving the reports said the house will ensure that the committee report is implemented and those involved no matter how highly placed made to refund monies in their possession to the government.

It would be recalled that on March 17, 2020, the speaker has constituted a committee to carry out a thorough investigation on the alleged mismanagement of the N1billion approved for the renovation/ fencing of public secondary schools in the state.

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