• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

CCB summons Interior Minister over N438bn NSIP contract

CCB summons Interior Minister over N438bn NSIP contract

As the federal government begins investigations into the activities of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), the Code of Conduct Bureau has summoned Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo to appear before it on Tuesday (tomorrow) in Abuja.

A leaked memo inviting the Minister shows that the invitation is in connection with the award of a N438 million contract to a company linked to him by the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

The company, known as “Planet Project Limited,” was said to have benefited from contracts worth N438 million as ‘consultancy fees’ from Betta Edun, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Tuni-Ojo, while explaining his connection with the firm, stated that he co-founded the firm with his wife but resigned from the company in 2019, when he got elected into the House of Representatives, adding that he was no longer a signatory to the company’s account.

The minister denied any involvement in the contract, insisting that he was no longer involved in the running of the company after resigning as its director in 2019.

Despite the denial, however, BusinessDay gathered that the CBB in an invitation dated 10 January but seen on Monday has asked Mr Tunji-Ojo to appear before it on Tuesday, 16 January, for interrogation over the contract scandal.

President Bola Tinubu had earlier summoned the Minister over the issue, but it was not clear if the Minister actually met with the President

President Tinubu had also suspended the programmes under the National Social Investment Programmes Agency and went ahead to constitute a Special Presidential Investigation Panel headed by Wale Edun, the `cominister of the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance

This Special Presidential Panel which has other five Ministers, is tasked with immediately undertaking a comprehensive review and audit of existing financial frameworks and policy guidelines of the social investment programmes with a view to implementing a total re-engineering of the financial architecture of the programmes with detailed modification to procedures guiding the programmes’ implementation moving forward.