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Reps ask federal government not to renew contract of GEM coordinator

Reps ask federal government not to renew contract of GEM coordinator

- The federal Ministry of Finance has been advised not to renew the contract of the coordinator of the Growth and Empowerment project

- The Ministry of Trade and Investment was also asked by the House of Representatives to halt the renewal of the contract

- The motion was moved by the lawmaker representing Gwer East/Gwer West constituency in Benue state, Mark Gbilah

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 14, adopted a motion urging the federal Ministries of Finance and that of Trade and Investment to halt any further renewal of contract of the coordinator of the Growth and Empowerment (GEM) project, Premium Times reports.

READ ALSO: Senator Dino Melaye in court over false information charge gathered the project is an initiative of the federal government, World Bank, and DFID to increase the growth of firms and employment in Nigeria.

It was learnt that the lawmakers also asked that status quo be maintained in the best interest of the country.

Mark Gbilah (Benue, APC), who moved the motion said that the one year contract of the present coordination expires on February 15, and that there are allegations that the trade minister, Okechukwu Enelamah, in collaboration with the World Banks, is on the verge of renewing the contract for a further term of two years despite the fact that the initial one year contract cost the country N60 million from the SME funds.

Arguing his point, he said it cost about N120 million for the alleged two-year extension, adding that the job of the consultant could be performed by a director in the civil service.

He added: “I’m worried at allegations that the renewal of the GEM project coordinator’s contract is intended to ensure the illegal diversion of $35 million from the project funds for the creation of an SME Fund proposed by the same project."

The committees on finance, industry, debts, aids and loans, were mandated by the House to investigate the circumstances surrounding the engagement of a consultant as GEM Project coordinator and approval of the consultant’s remuneration.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, February 7, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, with immediate effect.

It was reported that the resolution was taken following the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Honourable Nuhu Damburam (APC, Kano) on the need to curb thuggery development in political activities in Kano and the nation at large.

The House said it had lost confidence in the IGP to lead the police in curbing the rising tide of crime and violence across the country.

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