Financial Misappropriation: Reps To Probe Ministry Of Women Affairs Over N510 Million Contract

The House of Representatives has announced plans to carry out a thorough probe into allegations bordering on financial misappropriation in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

The Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Hon. Kafilat Ogbara, stated this during an investigative hearing into petitions initiated by some contractors over the payment of the sum of ₦510 million into the accounts of contractors who did not participate in the bidding process, held at the instance of House Committee on Procurement chaired by Hon. Unyime Idem.

Speaking during the investigative hearing, Hon. Unyimen Idem confronted the Minister with the petitions initiated by some of the contractors. He said: “The matter that brought all of us here this afternoon is about a petition that was brought to us last month. The petition is about some projects in your ministry to the tune of ₦510 million that were bidded and subsequently award letter was given to the bidders, that is the contractors.“But surprisingly, while some of the contractors according to their claims said they have executed the projects and some said they were still waiting to get mobilisation from your Ministry to enable them execute the projects, they were shocked to know that some of those projects were already paid for by the Ministry of Finance”.

Hon. Udem also affirmed that there are some of the aggrieved contractors present during the investigative hearing. In her intervention, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Hon. Ogbara who expressed displeasure over the inordinate attitude of the Minister to the Committee, argued that she has not been cooperative despite all efforts made to synergize with her.

She said: “I’ve got so many petitions already against her. Even the people working with the Ministry, have complained that she works alone. “Apart from the excuse she has given that she wants to try and get her people to come with her, the Perm Sec and relevant personnel that need to appear before this Committee, I will just want to appeal to the chairman to give her time, not too long because we also inviting her from the Committee on Women Affairs very soon.

“The notice is already out, I don’t know whether they’ve sent it to her office. So, we also invited her, because I don’t understand, I have been trying to work cordially with her as a woman. As women supporting women, we should work together, but when you’re trying to work with somebody and the person is not even trying to learn or trying to work in the way you expect.

“Now, there are so many petitions, diversion of money, misappropriation of funds, people’s jobs in the Ministry. You just misappropriate paned the money, anyway, anyhow from all the complaints that we have got, so we are going to invite her from the Committee as well, and I want the Chairman to choose the nearest day possible.”

In response to the inquiry, Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye said: “After we came here the last time, the information given by the Accountant General’s office was wrong, they gave you totally wrong information.

Some people said that they said we are owing 50 million, they came out with almost eighth something million or 90 million that were a lot of discrepancies in what they sent, which we noticed that we took it to go and check.

“But I want you people to know one thing, I can’t succeed without you people, I have no reason for your money to be in the office and will allow it to be misappropriated. I can’t even allow any misappropriation.”

Culled from Gistmania