From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) has directed the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to furnish it with details of companies involved in the N18.9 billion bush clearing contracts awarded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2020.
Chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, gave the directive, yesterday, at an investigative hearing. Oke directed the CAC to furnish the committee with the year of incorporation, corporate offices, names of the owners and shareholders of the affected companies. The committee chairman also directed the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to avail the committee the financial status of the companies.
The lawmaker, had, while speaking on Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) query to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), said Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had allegedly awarded N18.9 billion contract awarded for clearing of bush, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant laboratory during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.
According to him, “during the lockdown of the country as a result of COVID 19, some companies took contract worth about N18 billion for bush clearing from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others. We cannot shave their head in their absence.
“So, we have invited them to come and give us their own side by responding to the issues and show us the places they are supposed to have cleared. They have to take us to the land they cleared. We have invited Ministry of Agriculture and they have made submission. But some of our members whose constituencies these projects were supposed to be domiciled doubted the existence of these projects and for fair hearing, we have invited the companies that got the contract for them to come and tell this committee where and when the jobs were executed.
“We will wait till the end of hearing today to see if they will appear. If they are not here, we will have to do the needful to get them to come.”