By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

House of Representatives Public Account Committee, PAC has frowned at the N18.9bn worth of contract for bushing clearing, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development during the covid-19 lockdown in 2019.

To this end, the committee has launched a probe of the ministry to ascertain the true situation.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Woke Oke made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja, saying the committee would find the location of the projects and their impacts on the country.

He said that the Ministry and the companies had been invited to appear but unfortunately, they had honoured the invitation as at Tuesday.

He said that the companies were to “appear before the committee on investigation of contracts awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of roads, bush clearing, land preparation and rehabilitation of soil and plant laboratories video utilisation of funds from Service Wide vote between 2013 and 2021 totalling N18,924,004,359.38.

“During the lockdown  of the country as a result of COVID 19, some companies took contract worth about N18 billion for bush clearing from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others we cannot shalve their head in their absence.

“So, we have invited them to come and give us their own side by responding to the issues and show us the places they are supposed to have cleared. They have to take us to the land they cleared.

“We have invited Ministry of Agriculture and they have made submission. But some of our members whose constituencies these projects were supposed to be domiciled doubted the existence of these projects and for fair hearing, we have invited the companies that got the contract for them to come and tell this committee where and when the jobs were executed.

“We will wait till the end of hearing today to see if they will appear. If they are not here, we will have to do the needful to get them to come”.

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