Umar Bello: Perm Sec replies Buhari’s query

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mohammed Umar Bello, has replied to a query bordering on contractual liability and property purchase.

Folasade, Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, signed the query on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The official was accused of alleged infractions when he was the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).

Bello allegedly caused the federal government a contractual liability of over N48billion incurred due to ‘delay in payment to contractors’.

He also allegedly bought a N7billion property for the ministry without Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) approval.

The May 11 query, with ref. No. HCSF/PSO/AOD/P.030/5B, relied on civil service rules PSR 030401 and 030402.

In his reply published by PRNigeria, Bello absolved himself of any wrongdoing.

He wrote: “While denying in totality all the allegations, I hereby forward my representations and response to all the false allegations contained in the query.”

Bello said all transactions at the FMARD “were approved through administrative process and principles as traditioned in the conduct of government business.”

The permanent secretary added that the ministry runs “a rolling budget year in year out as most projects are captured as ongoing; that all contracts/procurement and payments at the FMARD followed due process.”

Bello explained that there are procedures for contracts/procurement and payments handled by various departments in all government agencies, FMARD inclusive.

The official noted that his tenure at the ministry commenced from 10th January, 2019 to 18th December, 2019 and hence, cannot be held responsible or liable for actions prior to 10th January, 2019.

Bello insisted that contractors were duly paid and that allegations of non-payment were totally false.

He said all contractors whose contract was captured in the 2018 budgetary allocation “were paid in accordance with budgetary releases. However, contractors whose contracts are ongoing were rolled over. Rollover capital projects are not new in contract management”.

“I will state that due process was followed to the latter in the purchase of the said building. After submission of the recommendation to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture; He approved that council memo be made to that effect.

“We then sent the memo to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who then scheduled it for Federal Executive Council approval. Consequently, the FEC approved the purchase of the building,” Bello added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.