Sports ministry under Reps' fire over N269m contract for mini stadium

Sports ministry under Reps' fire over N269m contract for mini stadium

- The House of Representatives has queried the ministry of sports to present its reason for awarding a contract for the construction of a stadium in Katsina above an approved amount

- According to the House, the cost for the construction of the stadium was N137 million but was increased to N269 million

- However, the ministry explained that the lack of funding for 2017 budget led to the revaluation of the project, as the contractors said the cost had gone up

The ministry of sports has been queried by the House of Representatives for awarding a contract for the construction of a mini stadium at the rate of N269m instead of the N137m appropriated and approved for the project sited in Daura, Katsina state.

The House committee on sports headed by ‎Hon Bukar Lawal Goni suspended review of the 2019 budget appropriation of the ministry and insisted on going ahead on oversight inspection to all federal government stadia in the country, Nigerian Tribune reports.

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The permanent secretary of the ministry, Olusade Olusola, said the committee found out that in the documents available to it, the mini stadium which a budget approval was given by the National Assembly in 2017 and 2018 was awarded beyond the amount budget for it.

Honourable Abubakar Nuhu Danburam, the chairman of technical sub-committee of the panel, brought up the trend of awarding a contract above the fixed amount, insisting that it violated the appropriation act.

He said: ”The ministry awarded a contract for a mini stadium in Daura for N269m as against the N137m that was appropriated by the committee, tell me, how you can justify such an infraction of the appropriation act?

“The appropriated sum was N137m and here you’re reporting an award of the contract to the tune of N269m. Not only have you violated the appropriation act, you have also created unwarranted debts for government by promising to pay what you don’t have.”

In defence of the minister, the permanent secretary said that lack of funding in 2017 budget led to the revaluation of the project having met with the contractors who said the cost had gone up.

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He said: “The ministry took the approach knowing that the project is a works related one which had to be awarded at once with the funding spread across the medium term expenditure period.”

Meanwhile, reported that lawmakers at the House of Representatives had rejected the sum of N27,000 which was approved by the council of state as the new minimum wage, insisting that they support the N30,000 agreement reached by the government, organised labour and the private sector.

The legislators during plenary on Thursday, January 24, said that the sum of N30,000 was adopted as the new minimum wage by the tripartite committee, whose report was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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