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House committee vows to recover N1.5b allegedly diverted by officials of Women Affairs Ministry



,,,, Directs Ministry to stop all contract processes

By Angel-Linda Ike

The House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development has summoned the minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye to appear before the house on Tuesday over an alleged N1.5 billion diversion by officials of the Ministry.

The probe followed a petition by contractors of the ministry to the House of Representatives over non-payment of executed contracts running into billions. of naira.

The committee vowed to recover the N1.5billion meant for the payment of contractors which was allegedly diverted by principal officers of the ministry.

This was as the Director of Finance of the ministry, Mr. Aloy Ifeakandu said he had only complied with official directives from his superiors, saying that the records of the transactions were available.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Kafilat Ogbara said that the ministry initiated new contracts not captured in the 2023 budget and diverted (N1.5bn) funds for old contractors.

She claimed that the ministry while owing contractors, awarded fresh contracts in 15 states of the federation, and also not captured in the 2023 appropriation.

Ogbara revealed that there is an ongoing probe of the ministry by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the overhead release of November/December 2023 to the tune of N1.5bn.

Responding to the allegation, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Gabriel Aduda explained that in “2023 we had a total budget of N13.6billion, the total release was N3.4billion, translating to 25 percent, budget utilization N3.4billion, while unreleased balance stood at N10.2billion”.

The committee however ordered the ministry to stop all contract processes in 2024, till the matter is resolved.

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