Reps query minister over N45m spent on new year party, others

The House of Representatives has queried the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, for spending unrelated expenditures, including N45m for a New Year party, N20m for sanitary pads, the News Agency of Nigeria reports on Wednesday.

Others include N1.5m for vehicle fuel.

NAN reports that Rep Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the minister, over the non-payment of N1.5bn to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

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She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5bn meant for contractor payments.

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The minister, however, denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined.

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