Nigeria: Nasarawa SSG Asked to Refund N248.5 Million to State's Coffer

Lafia — The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani, has been asked to refund N248.5 million as unaccounted funds to the coffer of the state government.

The money is said to be part of the N1billion released in 2018 for the renovation/fencing of secondary schools, according to an Adhoc-committee set up by the state's House of Assembly to investigate the projects.

Tijani was at that time the state's commissioner for education.

Hon Daniel Oga Ogazi (APC- Kokona East), the Chairman of the committee made this known while presenting the committee's reports during the House proceeding in Lafia on Monday.

The Speaker of the House, Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, after receiving the reports, slated Tuesday for deliberation on the report.

Ogazi said that the former Commissioner displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetency and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.

According to him, based on the committee's recommendations, the total sum of N873, 233,942.60 was expended based on information from the Payment Voucher (PVs) excluding 5% deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.

"During our investigation, we have summoned the Commissioner for Education, her principal officers and management staff, the former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, the former Commissioner for Education and now SSG, Commissioner for Works, his principal officers as well as the contractors that handled various works.

"As during our investigation, the SSG has agreed that he will take responsibility of his action.

"The total released contract sum was N1, 084,000,000 only, if deducted N873, 233,942.60 from the total contract sum this will amount to N210, 766, 057.40.

"Then add 5% Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37, 718, 499.19.

"The total sum of unaccounted funds will amount to N248, 484,556.60," he said.

Ogazi urged the government to declare a state of emergency on all the project sites to ensure its completion.

"All contractors who completed their work should be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors should be refunded to government coffers immediately.

"Funds should be released to contractors who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work", he said.

He also called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation/fencing to do so within one month or face the consequences.

The committee's chairman urged the ministry of education to carry out on-the-spot assessment of all uncompleted projects to see the level of work done and to make funds available for their completion in the interest of development.

It would be recalled that on March 17, the speaker constituted the Ad-hoc committee to carry out a thorough investigation on the alleged utilisation of the N1billion approved for the renovation/fencing of public secondary schools in the state.

When the SSG was earlier contacted on the allegation and his summon by the NSHA, one of his aides said "The records are straight and there is no cause for alarm."

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