NEWS

Senate to probe contracts fraud in TETFUND

The Senate has mandated its Committees on Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and Public Procurement to conduct an investigation to ascertain the level of unexecuted contracts with a view to returning monies collected by contractors.

Senate took the decision following a a motion by Senator Jibirin Barau (APC, Kano) on Wednesday.

Sen. Barau disclosed how some unnamed contractors ran away with public funds without performing contracts awarded to specification, urging that the offenders be prosecuted.

He said: “In the past years, TEFUND has had to award numerous contracts for the benefit of several higher institutions across the country in keeping with the statute that established the agency.

“These contracts were meant for projects spread across various levels of tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, etc deemed as urgently needed to improve on the quality of teaching, learning and research I the institutions.

“In spite of the good intentions of TETFUND in awarding the contracts, some contractors, who are yet to be identified allegedly collected the project monies and walked away without executing the contracts.

“We are determined that in strict compliance with the recent pronouncement of the President of the Senate towards the renewed commitment of the Senate to exposing corrupt practices in all facets of the Nigerian society and bringing culprits to justice.”

In his contribution, the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe) stated that TETFUND and other agencies be taken to task over issues like this.

“Their monitoring an evaluation department is not effective if not they should have detected early,” he said, adding: “The committees should make sure that such occurrence do not continue.

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki questioned the ability of anti corruption agencies to check corrupt practices, saying: “I mentioned earlier that we would be focusing on corrupt practices on a weekly basis.

“We would find out if it is lack of capacity on behalf of TETFUND  or why security agencies have not done anything on it. I recommended the two committees to work on this thoroughly because you are working on behalf of the Senate.”

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Adeeko Ademola

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