Reps to investigate project racketeering, fraudulent activities in MDAs

Reps to investigate project racketeering, fraudulent activities in MDAs

The House of Reps has mandated its Committees on Anti-Corruption and Public Service to investigate alleged corruption in the nominal rolls of government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and project racketeering.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Dachung Bagos (PDP-Plateau) at plenary on Thursday, December 2.

Moving the motion before the Reps, Bagos said that there were allegations of widespread corruption in the MDAs in the country.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari on Nov. 30, ordered the ICPC to take actions; against heads of MDAs and also other personnel involved in project racketeering; budget and payroll padding as well as ghost workers.

Bagos said that the ICPC Chairman also stated that the review of the 2021 budget led to the discovery of 257 duplicated projects; with a combined value of N20.138 billion.

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“Concerned that the corrupt practices are carried out in all facet of the activities of the MDAs; with the highest list been the issue of payroll padding and ghost workers’ retention; these funds find their way into the pockets of the Chief Executives; Officers/ Heads of the MDAs at the expense of the nation.

“Also concerned that these corrupt practices have diverted the country’s revenue; meant to be channeled into economic development and capital projects,’’ he said.

Given the ban on employment in the MDAs, the Reps mandated the committees to ascertain the status of employment; and determine the number of MDAs that were given waivers to employ.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila gave the committees 10 weeks; to carry out the investigation and to report to the house for further legislative actions.

Meanwhile, the Presidency has described as divisive, irresponsible; and also bare-faced publicity stunts the repeated ridiculous claims from the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that it is bringing legal action against the Federal Government.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Presidency Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement on Wednesday, December 1, in Abuja.

The presidency aide was reacting to various legal actions being Instituted against the Government and/ or President of Nigeria by SERAP, almost weekly.

According to Shehu, little is known about SERAP, or who funds them; despite their claims of being an organisation that champions transparency and also accountability.

 

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