Wheat project scandal: EFCC grills NIRSAL MD | Dailytrust

Wheat project scandal: EFCC grills NIRSAL MD

The Managing Director (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed
The Managing Director (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has interrogated the Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed, over alleged wheat scandal.

EFCC and NIRSAL sources told Daily Trust that Abdulhameed was quizzed last Friday and Tuesday this week. The MD had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Operatives of the EFCC had last week reportedly visited the NIRSAL office in Abuja and invited several top officials for questioning on their roles in the wheat project scandal.

Those earlier quizzed included the Assistant Head of Finance, the Head of Procurement and his assistant as well as all consultants working with NIRSAL.

Also invited, according to sources, were directors of three companies guaranteed loans for the N5.6bn wheat project for farmers in Kano and Jigawa States in 2018.

The companies are Mainframe Agricultural Investment Limited, Forest Hill Agricultural Development Limited and Woodfarm Agricultural Limited.

Their invitations were sequel to an investigative report by Daily Trust on how the multi-billion naira loan guaranteed by NIRSAL for three companies for the cultivation-to-harvest of 20,000 hectares of dry season wheat the two states was allegedly diverted for other purposes by the investor companies in connivance with NIRSAL officials.

Following the report, the head of NIRSAL’s Project Monitoring Reporting and Remediation Offices, Steven Ogidan, alongside all the consultants, was also said to have spent almost a week at the EFCC. Ogidan, who oversees the PRMO’s in all the states of the federation, was said to have been interrogated and asked to go and await further invitations.

Contacted, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, declined comment on the invitation of the NIRSAL MD, saying he had no information on it.

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