Reps to probe multi-million naira Defence Ministry contract

The House of Representatives has ordered a probe into alleged misappropriation, duplication and mismanagement of multi-million naira contracts in the Ministry of Defence. 

The House resolved that its Committees on Defence, Army, Finance, Public Procurement and Financial Crimes should carry out a comprehensive investigation into the matter and report back in two weeks 

The resolution is sequel to a motion moved by Yusuf Tajudeen (PDP, Kogi) on Tuesday.

While leading the debate, Tajudeen stated that some high ranking appointees and officials in the Ministry of Defence were allegedly involved in the contract scam that has gone viral and not in sync with the the federal government’s fight against corruption. 

He noted that the contract was for the relocation and refurbishment of level 2 Hospital under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. 

He added that the level 2 Hospitals which are funded by the United Nations and awarded to countries to contribute troops to global peace missions.

He however disclosed that the “scandal blew open” following United Nations directives that Nigeria should move the level 2 hospital from its present temporary camp at Timbuktu airport in Mali to the more secured new UN super camp also In Timbuktu.

Tajudeen revealed that the Ministry of Defence in a “desperate bid” to cover its tracks awarded the refurbishing and relocation of the hospital in Feb 2017 to a contractor with zero experience. 

He expressed concerns that the Ministry of Defence apart from awarding the contract to a third party, also flouted the guidelines of Bureau of Public Procurement. 

He noted that inability to meet up with the deadline for the relocation of the hospital has led to UN ordering Nigeria to withdraw its remaining contingents to the UN Africa Mission in Darfur. 

“Due to the selfish and greedy antics of some officials of Ministry of Defence, Nigeria has gone down from No. 5 to No.9 in troop contributing country global rating and dropping from No.1 to No.5 in Africa and African Union,” he said

First Bank

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