We did not spend N18.9 billion on the contract for bush clearing, the Agriculture Ministry denies charges.

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says it did not spend N18.9 billion on bush clearing contract during COVID-19 lockdown.

The ministry was responding to a report that claimed it spent N18.9 billion clearing bush during COVID-19 shutdown and that it had been contacted by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account with an audit question.

According to the ministry, it merely cleared vegetation and prepared 3,200 hectares of land across eight federation states.

Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Cross River, Kaduna, Kwara, Plateau, and Ogun were the states mentioned by Oruche.

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He said that it cost a total of N2.5 billion and was allocated by the respective state governments.

Oruche said that the entire amount cited was the sum of previous projects carried out by the ministry throughout the COVID-19 period, including the building of rural roads in each of the nation’s six geopolitical zones.

Four national soil laboratories at Umudike, Ibadan, Kaduna, and Abuja were renovated and outfitted, in addition to soil sampling and mapping, farmer registration, and these others.

According to him, the projects were completed effectively and verified by the appropriate government bodies.

The ministry wants to make clear that if the comment came from the House Public Account Committee, the committee must have been misquoted.

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Tijani Pepper is a news reporter at Panel News, and gistreportar. He is a passionate journalist in Politics, Sports development and investigative journalism.
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