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N98bn: Allegations of Financial Misconduct Mere Concoction, Embattled Perm Sec Replies FG

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The permanent Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Mohammed Umar Bello, has told the Federal government that the allegations of serious financial misconduct against him during his tenure at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are mere concoctions based on malice.

Then permanent secretary in a letter dated May 11, signed by Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of service of the federation, was alleged to have used the entire 2019 first-quarter to release of N7 billion to pay for the 2018 contracts that were already funded.

He was among others also accused of not paying eligible contractors despite the budgetary release of N98 billion to the agriculture ministry in 2018.

But, the permanent secretary in a letter dated 14th May denied in totality the allegations contained in the query

” I am not liable to any of the allegations contained there in the query. They are mere concoction based on malice for whatever reason best known to the perpetrators.

“Having served in the Federal civil service for over Thirty-Five (35) years, I was never queried or found wanting but earned various commendation Awards and many indelible contribution to the Nation Building,” he said.

Read also N98b: Buhari Queries Perm Sec of Science Ministry over Financial Misconduct

Bello explained that all transactions at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development were approved through Administrative process mid principles as traditioned in the conduct of Government business and all contracts/procurement and payments at the FMARD followed due process.

“I state that contractors were dully paid. The allegation of contractors not been paid is totally false. All contractors whose contract was captured in the 2018 budgetary allocation were paid in accordance to budgetary releases,” he said.

The perm sec also noted that FMARD usually runs two budgets; that of the current year and the preceding year and, that most contracts of FMARD are continuous in nature and hence the necessity for contractual liabilities. Ministries that rollover Budget cannot escape having liabilities.

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The perm sec claimed that the process was also followed in the purchase the uncompleted building worth N7 bn building. He further claimed that the award and approval of the procurement of the N1.3bn rigs was never awarded by him, but said the whole process ongoing as usual with FMARD projects.

“While thanking you for the opportunity given to me to make my representation, please accept the assurances of my loyalty always and pledge to continue to abide by the Public Service Rules,” Bello said.

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