…Education Ministry tops with N1.2 trillion
The All Progressives Congress, APC, Rivers State Chapter is congratulating the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari [GCON] for ordering the comprehensive probe of the N4trillion debt by 28 Ministries and their departments and agencies handed over by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
We are deeply sad and embarrassed that the highest culprit among the 28 Federal Ministries was the one headed by a Rivers son, Barr. Nyesom Wike as Minister of State and later as substantive Minister.
Out of the total sum of N4 trillion debts accumulated largely through unconscionable and reckless contract awards and graft, the Federal Ministry of Education under Nyesom Wike came out tops with a total debt of N1.2 trillion or 30 percent of the total indebtedness by the 28 Ministries.
For the APC, judgment time has come for the former Minister now Governor of Rivers State given that a number of sordid things were perpetrated in the Ministry while under his watch.
The then Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike got audit queries in his Ministry for 3 years which he blatantly refused to respond to. And each time he was reported to the then President Jonthan, the President did nothing but rather shielded him from responding to queries in line with civil service rules.
At some point, the matter was reported to the National Assembly Committees on Public Accounts who invited the then Minister, Barr. Nyesom Wike for clarifications. Again, he blatantly refused to comply with the invitations with the active protection of former President Jonathan.
The APC recalls that sometime ago, a mysterious fire broke out at the Federal Ministry of Education Headquarters, Abuja in what was allegedly a deliberate arson to destroy vital evidence on corruption in the Ministry with fingers pointing at some highly placed persons.
The APC has earlier drawn attention to an allegation that N20bn was released for the purchase of books for Federal Government institutions, adding that such books were never provided. We also drew attention to the Almajiri School Scheme, the Universal Basic Education, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and the N87bn approved for the ministry but not utilised. Another is the N180bn UBEC funds allegedly looted by Chief Wike and Dame Patience Jonathan, through fraudulent contracts for the supply of textbooks to higher institutions but the textbooks were never supplied.
When the special task force to conduct the probe of the Ministries is raised by the Federal Government, The APC would like it to be meticulous with its assignment especially with the Federal Ministry of Education that was headed by an artful dodger and master of underhand deal-making.
Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, JP