• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Reps probe women affairs Minister over N1.5bn contract debt

Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye

The House of Representatives has queried Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye the Minister of Women Affairs, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors in spite of the fund release in Abuja.

Rep Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister for spending on exorbitant expenditures including N45 million for a new year party, N20 million for sanitary pads and N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

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The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor’s payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments, NAN reported.

However, the minister denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

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The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had, at its last sitting, summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the monies’ whereabouts are determined.