House of Reps summon Tinubu’s minister over N1.5 billion owed contractors

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The House of Representatives Committee On Women Affairs and Social Development has summoned Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, the minister in charge of the ministry, to appear on Tuesday, July 9 over N1.5 billion owed contractors.

It also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the ministry until the whereabouts of the money were determined.

Chairperson of the committee, Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, gave the directive after submissions by the Permanent Secretary and other officials of the ministry during the investigative hearing of the committee on Thursday.

The committee is investigating the alleged diversion of N1.5 billion meant for the payment of contractors after it received a petition from the contractors over non-payment for the contracts they executed for the ministry.

According to the chairperson, the ministry has initiated new contracts not captured in the 2023 budget and allegedly diverted the N1.5 billion set aside for the payment of old contractors.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda explained that in “2023 we had a total budget of N13.6billion, the total release was N3.4billion, translating to 25 per cent, budget utilization N3.4billion, while unreleased balance stood at N10.2billion”.

On his part, the Director of Finance, Aloy Ifeakandu said he resumed at the ministry in September 2023, so he wouldn’t know what happened before he came.

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