Nigeria: Reps Panel Writes CAC, FIRS, Demands Identity of Firms Involved in N18.6bn Bush Clearing Contracts

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the Public Account Committee of the House queried the N18.6 billion allegedly spent by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on clearing of bushes, land preparation and rehabilitation of soil plant labs from 2013 to 2021.

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has asked the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to furnish it with the details of the firms involved in the N18.6 billion expenditure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Chairman of the Committee, Wole Oke (PDP, Osun), gave the directive on Wednesday during the public hearing on the 2019 report of the Auditor General of the Federation.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the committee queried the N18.6 billion spent by the ministry on clearing of bushes, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant labs and other expenditures from 2013 to 2021.

The committee had summoned the firms that executed the project but only two out of the 20 firms appeared before the committee.

Representatives of Easy Construction Company Limited and NUKAAG VENTURES LTD appeared but the committee prevented them from making any presentations. It instead demanded that the chief executives of the firms should appear.

Consequently, Mr Oke directed the clerk of the committee to write the Registrar of the CAC to furnish the committee with the detailed information of the affected 20 companies, including the year of incorporation, corporate offices, names of the owners and other details.

Mr Oke said “We are not concerned about who won the contracts, what we are after is to determine the value for money paid out and the sites of the projects. We will carry that mission to the letter.

“The clerk should also write the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, to furnish the committee with the financial status of the companies,” he said.

The Public Account Committee, which is a constitutionally-recognised committee, has the power to review the auditor-general’s report.

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