The Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in a clear case of corruption has awarded the construction of a mosque at the price of N30 million to EL-Shukhur Multi Buz Limited, a company that is fake and does not exist.
Although the company claims to have its office at No. 15 Jahun Quarters Bauchi, records from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) show it does not exist.
Under the deal, the Agric Ministry in a letter signed by Mr. Musa.A. Musa, the Deputy Director on the 10th day of December 2020 awarded a contract for the construction of the mosque.
Worse still, the contract award letter only said the contractor will build a Friday Mosque and did not specify a location where the mosque will be built and specifications.
In the letter sent to MAWA Foundation, the Agric Ministry said the decision to award N30 million contract to a fake and non-existing company was taken by the Ministerial Tender Board at its seventh meeting held on the 7th day of December 2020.
MAWA Foundation finding from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) regarding EL-Shukhur Multi Buz Limited, a company that got N30 million contract shows that it is fake and has no record of registration with the commission.
By this, it shows that the Agric Ministry has breached the Nigerian law and the civil service rule. The Procurement Act does not allow for a contract to be awarded to companies not dully registered with the CAC and has an up-to-date record of tax clearance.
How, the Agric Ministry awarded N30 million contract to a fake and non-existing company, calls for investigation and prosecution of those behind the act.
When MAWA Foundation sought the explanation of the Agric Ministry regarding awarding N30 million contract to a fake and non-existing company, a senior official of the ministry while speaking via a telephone said he cannot comment on the issue, but however said the Ministry’s procurement team had in many occasions awarded similar contracts.
Agric Ministry is not the only offender, across all Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) civil servants in Nigeria often collude and award contracts to fake and non-existing companies with arrangements to get a kickback when the contact monies are paid.
This has become internalized corruption practices that have helped undermined Nigeria’s development.