Reps probe $1.4m ‘shady contract’ at defence ministry

The house of representatives has mandated its committees on defence, army and public procurement to investigate the $1.4 million contract scandal in the ministry of defence.

According to TheCable, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a $1.4 million contract in September 2016 for the relocation and refurbishment of a Level 2 Ministry Hospital under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

But the contract was awarded for $1 million and could not be completed.

Yusuf Tajudeen, a lawmaker from Kogi state, on Tuesday sponsored a motion on the matter.

While moving the motion, Tajudeen said the defence ministry flouted the procurement guidelines of the Bureau for Public Procurement by awarding the contract in the name of another firm.

“That the ministry of defence apart from awarding the contract in the name of another firm after getting presidential approval, also flouted the procurement guidelines of the Bureau for Public Procurement,” he said.

“That as a consequence for not meeting the UN August 2017 deadline for relocation of the hospital to a new location Nigeria has been asked to withdraw its remaining contingent to the UN African Missions in Darfur.

“The shady deals allegedly perpetrated by top functionaries in the ministry of defence has led to Nigeria losing the deployment of Level 2 hospital to Rwanda as directed by the UN.”

He said due to the “greedy antics” of some officials in the defence ministry, Nigeria has gone down from nine to five in the global ranking of countries contributing troops and from one to five in the African Union.

The house adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Yakubu Dogara, the speaker.

The committee is expected to submit its report in two weeks.
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