Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wednesday called on the National Assembly to commence investigations into the revelation of the over N48 billion fraud in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The party further stated that the revelation has again exposed the high level corruption and cover-ups going on in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In calling on the National Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately com-mence investigation into the fraud in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the PDP said it is aimed at unraveling those behind the sleaze.
The party said: “The confession by the queried former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Umar Bello, that the duplicitous purchase of an uncompleted building for a humongous cost of N7.044 billion passing through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) further exposes the rot that has permeated the Buhari administration.”
According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said it held that such revelation has again shown how the corrupt cabal in the Buhari presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been pillaging the national treasury and fleecing the country of billions of naira through fraudulent transactions in various ministries, departments and agencies, while parading before Nigerians as saints.
The statement said Nigerians were shocked by reports of how funds meant to service the food security system in the country is being plundered by those in power, resulting in the crippling of the agriculture sector thereby creating attendant hunger and starvation in the land.
The PDP described as shameful that the FEC, under President Buhari’s watch, is being fingered in financial manipulations and procurement sleazes in the agriculture ministry, including the alleged disappearance of N48 billion contractors’ fund; over N7billion duplicated payments; diversion of N9.1billion worth of drilling rigs to unnamed private individuals; purchase of carcass building for N7.044 billion in addition to misapplication of billions of naira meant for strategic grains, rural grazing area settlement funds and other food production intervention schemes.
According to the opposition party, the fraud in the Ministry of Agriculture has further exposed how officials of the Buhari administration and corrupt APC leaders have turned government ministries and agencies into their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) just as the case of exposed looting of billions of naira in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) among others.
It said it is even more distressing that the corrupt cabal continues to enjoy official cover while in some cases, allowed to sacrifice their fronts to conceal their tracks.