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Contractors halt operation in Agric Ministry for a number of hours over N17B debt

  • demand sack of minister, perm sec
  • threaten authorized motion towards the ministry

Some contractors on Friday stormed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Growth over alleged non-payment of their N17 billion debt incurred from the execution of varied tasks in 2018.

The protesters who held banners with inscriptions reminiscent of: “Everlasting secretary should go; Our Initiatives received the election for PMB”, We’re dying of starvation” blocked the principle entrance to the ministry major constructing, thereby stopping guests and workers from getting access to their workplaces.

Denied entrance into the minister’s workplace by safety operatives, they demanded for the sack of the Minister, Sabo Nanono and the Everlasting Secretary, Mu’azu Abdulkadir.

Coordinator of the group, Mr. Chidi Kanu advised journalists that they had been awarded varied agric contracts since 2018 and had accomplished the tasks however the ministry refused to pay them.

He stated upon verification, it was found that over 98 per cent of the budgetary allocations for that 12 months had been launched to the ministry however had been diverted.

However the director of the press within the ministry, Theodore Ogaziechi had advised The Guardian that the ministry agreed to hold out a verification train on whether or not the tasks had been truly executed earlier than they may receives a commission.

Ogaziechi added that the delay in cost was on account of among the tasks not accomplished within the 12 months underneath evaluation.

Confronted with the ministry’s place, Kanu stated most of them accomplished the tasks earlier than March final 12 months, with Certificates of Completion issued to them in Could and June.

He defined that that they had written collection of letters to anti-graft businesses, Nationwide Meeting, Accountant Common’s Workplace, Head of Service however didn’t obtain any reply however for the question issued to the previous everlasting secretary, Dr Mohammed Bello.

He stated the motion of each the minister and completely secretary doesn’t conform with the anti-corruption campaign of the president.

He stated: “We labored since 2018 and delivered primarily based on the contract they gave us. They used our tasks to marketing campaign for this authorities and on the finish of all of it, they stated there isn’t a cash.

“We’re asking President Muhammadu Buhari to come back to our rescue. We can not pay college charges anymore and our landlords are disturbing us for rents. We’re helpless. We had a number of assembly with the everlasting secretary and he promised us that he’s going to pay us however somewhat, he diverted the cash and awarded contemporary contracts to his cronies. They’re even about to award contemporary contracts for 2020 with out paying us.

“A excessive powered probe must be initiated to probe the ministry.
We now have been coming right here and the final time we got here, the everlasting secretary advised us he isn’t going to pay us. We’re additionally contemplating the choice of going the authorized means”, he stated.

One other contractor, Tajudeen Abdullahi, stated they accomplished the tasks with out being paid any mobilisation charge.

In line with him, he was contracted to dig boreholes, provide grains, corn harvesters, amongst different agric-related tasks

“They’ve been deceiving us. We determined to protest as a result of we had no possibility. The present everlasting secretary stopped the cost as a result of he was not concerned within the course of.”, he alleged

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