Alleged N1bn School Projects Scandal: Nasarawa Speaker Tasks Committee Against Compromise

The Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, has urged the Ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the alleged abandoned N1billion Secondary Schools projects across the state awarded in 2018, to do a thorough job.

The contracts which were awarded during the time of the immediate past Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education and now Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani Balarabe, have been attracting attention from the public in recent times.

Rt. Hon. Abdullahi made the call on Monday in Lafia during inaugural sitting of the committee when the current Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati Sabo and her management team appeared before the committee.

Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati Sabo (L) and Secretary to the Nasarawa State Government, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani (R) when the duo appeared before the House last week

The Speaker said that setting up the committee was not to witch-hunt anybody but to ensure that the House gets to the root of the matter in question and to salvage the education sector.

According to the speaker, the House will not be deterred by all intimidations, mischief, insults, noise making in newspapers and social media sponsored by some people.

“If you have being alleged, you have the opportunity to come and clear yourself as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria mandated us to do investigation.

“This sitting was informed as a result of oversight function carried out by the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology as the matter was brought under the matter of public importance by Hon Daniel Ogazi, the Chairman of the committee.

“And all members have discussed and unanimously agreed for the constitution of this committee over the SSG inability to give satisfactory explanation on the utilisation of the funds.

“As the committee on Education discovered that the N1 billion released for the renovations of school projects. Some of the jobs were not done and our children are learning under the trees. And this is a very sad and unfortunate,” he said.

“We have obligation to the state government. We have obligation to the people of the state for good governance and to our children and generation yet unborn,” the Speaker added.

Balarabe Abdullahi expressed confidence on the members of the committee to carry out the investigation thoroughly and with the fear of God.

Earlier, Hon. Daniel Ogazi, the Chairman of the committee urged the Commissioner and her team to give the committee the necessary support and information in order to ensure the success of the investigation.

Chairman House Committee on Education, Science and Technology and special investigative ad-hoc committee, Hon Daniel Ogazi

“We need your support and cooperation to enable the committee come out with positive result.

“We are doing this to save the education sector and to protect the future of our students as well as to ensure justice in the utilisation of the state government resources,” he said

The Chairman assured of the committee’s readiness to do a thorough investigation on the matter to serve as deterrent to others.

On her part, the Commissioner while answering questions said that she did not get the brief of the projects when she assumed office in Nov. 1, 2019.

She said that N84million was released in tranches to the ministry to pay for the completed works.

On his part the former Director of Finance of the Ministry Abdul Na Abdul admitted that the payment of the 1b naira did not follow financial regulations adding that payments were made in cash instead of banks transactions.

It would be recalled that on March 17th the House had set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the N1billion secondary schools renovation contract awarded in 2018 by the state ministry of Education.

It would also be recalled that on March 16, that the Nasarawa State House of Assembly summoned a former Commissioner of Education and now, the Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani and current Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hajiya Fati Sabo over school abandoned projects awarded in 2018.

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