SERAP Accuses Agriculture Ministry Of Diverting Billions Of Naira Meant For Capital Projects Without Appropriation

December 31, 2021
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 SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has alleged that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development misappropriated funds amounting to N375,785,893 meant for RUGA project sometime in 2019.

SERAP further alleged that the money was rather used on the transportation of victims from areas affected by banditry in Zamfara State and sensitisation visits to the governor of the state, Bello Matawalle. 

It also said the ministry spent N48,425,543,895.72 (approximately N48 billion) without any budgetary appropriation. 

The group said it suspected that the ministry had misappropriated the money as such spendings were considered as a violation of the Presidential directive to suspend the RUGA scheme.

Also, the Ministry was said to have overpaid N24,799,539.17 to contractors for agricultural equipment and then failed to collect the money, contrary to paragraph 234 of the Financial Regulations in 2019.

SERAP also accused the ministry of failing to remit N89,100,573.53 (KN89 billion) of deducted taxes to the appropriate authorities. 

This was disclosed on its Twitter page on Thursday where it stated, “The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly misappropriated N375,785,893.75 of RUGA project fund. 

“The money was spent on the transportation of the victims of the ‘armed banditry’ in Zamfara state and ‘sensitisation visits’ to the Governor.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly spent N3,433,984,692.66 from the RUGA fund, in violation of presidential directive to suspend the RUGA scheme. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly misappropriated N7,737,208,135.18. 

“The money meant for the 2019 capital projects by the Ministry was said to have been spent in 2018 for ‘other projects. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly spent N48,425,543,895.72 without budgetary appropriation. The Auditor-General is concerned that the money may have been misappropriated. 

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly paid N700,179,314.37 to persons who are not the beneficiaries of the payments, contrary to the government’s own e-payment policy. The Auditor-General fears the money may have been diverted.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly failed to deduct N8,886,291.47 as taxes.”

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly overpaid N24,799,539.17 to contractors for agricultural equipment and then failed to collect the money, contrary to paragraph 234 of the Financial Regulations. 

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja in 2019 reportedly failed to remit N89,100,573.53 of deducted taxes to the appropriate authorities. The Auditor-General fears the money may have been diverted.”

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