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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 in opposition to 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 initiatives in 2018.

The protesters who held banners with inscriptions reminiscent of: “Everlasting secretary should go; Our Tasks received the election for PMB”, We’re dying of starvation” blocked the principle entrance to the ministry foremost constructing, thereby stopping guests and employees 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 instructed journalists that they have been awarded numerous agric contracts since 2018 and had accomplished the initiatives 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 have been launched to the ministry however have been diverted.

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

Ogaziechi added that the delay in cost was because of a number of the initiatives not accomplished within the 12 months below overview.

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

He defined that that they had written sequence of letters to anti-graft companies, Nationwide Meeting, Accountant Normal’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 initiatives to marketing campaign for this authorities and on the finish of all of it, they stated there isn’t any cash.

“We’re asking President Muhammadu Buhari to return to our rescue. We can’t pay faculty 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 slightly, he diverted the cash and awarded recent contracts to his cronies. They’re even about to award recent contracts for 2020 with out paying us.

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

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

In response to him, he was contracted to dig boreholes, provide grains, corn harvesters, amongst different agric-related initiatives

“They’ve been deceiving us. We determined to protest as a result of we had no choice. 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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