Senate probes works ministry over RCCG’s N145m road project
The Senate is currently probing the Federal Ministry of Works for paying N145m to a construction firm as reimbursement for a road project executed by the Redeemed Christian Church of God as part of its corporate social responsibility.
A senior official of the RCCG, Pastor Niyi Adebanjo, had in a petition submitted to the Senate alleged that FMW officials paid N151m to the management of Cartil Construction Nigeria Ltd as part payment for the road project awarded to it but abandoned.
Adebanjo submitted the petition on behalf of the General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the document to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The petition was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, on behalf of Lawan, on February 9.
The RCCG, in the petition, alleged that the construction firm claimed the sum of N151,508,901.22 as reimbursement for the rehabilitation of the Ife-Ifewara Road, Osun State, which the church constructed.
Part of the petition read, “The rehabilitation of the road was awarded and paid for by Pastor Enoch Adeboye in the sum of N188,440,342, hence the claim by Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited was illegal and unjust.
“The church hereby requests the Senate to look into the matter and, among others, urge the firm to refund the money it collected to the coffers of the Federal Government.”
Speaking before the panel under oath, on Wednesday, Adebanjo said, “Pastor E.A. Adeboye employed the services of the Construction Department of the RCCG to execute the project between August 26, 2016 and 2019 and the total cost was over N188m.
“The project started from Eruwa junction in Ife and Garage Olode in Ifewara, which is 8.2km. We have details of all the seven companies that supplied us with the materials used to execute the project. They delivered all the materials on site. We have supplied details of the projects to the committee.
“While the project was ongoing, authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service pleaded with Pastor Adeboye to extend the construction to their premises, which was done.
“There are people at Ife and Ifewara who can testify to the fact that Pastor Adeboye constructed the road because he visited the palace, where the Oba appreciated him for constructing the road.
“We were therefore shocked when we found out that somebody was trying to defraud the Nigerian state by claiming money for a project he never executed.”
He said the people of the area pleaded with Adeboye to repair the road, which was in a deplorable state for years, making it a death trap for motorists and a safe haven for criminals.
The firm’s engineer, Olalekan Jimoh, was put on oath to address the panel on behalf of its Managing Director, who he claimed could not speak English language.