Senate Probes Alleged N450m Contracts Scam in River Basin Agency

Senate Probes Alleged N450m Contracts Scam in River Basin Agency

Sunday Aborisade

The Senate Public Account Committee (SPAC) on Tuesday sustained an audit query issued against officials of the Ogun – Osun River Basin Development Authority over alleged inflated contracts regarding the construction of water dams and overhead tanks amounting to about N450 million.

The locations of the overpaid projects, according to the query, are Agbado- Isoye Ogun State; Egbado South Local Government; Ajinipa in Orire Local Government, Oyo State; Igan Alade Igua in Yewa North Local Government; Panseke in Abeokuta; Asa in Surulere Local Government Area in Oyo State and many more.

The officials of the agency however  appeared before the Senator Matthew Urhoghide-led Senate Committee on Public Account and could not justify allegations of overpayment raised against the agency.

The query against the Ogun – Osun Rivers Basin Agency was contained in the 2016 Report of the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF).

The committee members were angry with the officials over what they described as the consistent overpayment to the contractors.

They also described as unacceptable, the agency’s officials inability to give convincing explanations on the issue of overpayment in the various contracts being handled.

For instance in the construction of Asa Dam, the AuGF report said N58 million was overpaid to the contractor which the committee ordered an immediate refund.

On the construction of a mini water  scheme at Ajinapa in the Orire Local Government Area of Oyo State, N187 million was overpaid to the contractor  

Also, on the construction of mini-water  supply scheme at Ipetu Ijesa, Osun  State, a total of N37 million was paid for the contingency, compensation and purchase of Toyota Hilux vehicles that was not cited on ground. 

In addition, N110 million was overpaid for the contract of Agbado-Isoye, Ogun State. 

The committee also observed that Toyota Hilux vehicles were purchased and provided for the contractors, while part of the money was collected for the contracts by the contractors and in addition, contingency fee was paid for all contacts which put question to the authenticity of the payments made by the agency.

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