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Women minister, Reps in shouting match over alleged diversion of N1.5bn

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, was engaged in a heated argument with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs during…

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, was engaged in a heated argument with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs during a probe into the alleged diversion of N1.5 billion meant for paying contractors.

The committee, chaired by Kafilat Ogbara, was investigating the alleged diversion following a petition from contractors who claimed they were not paid for their work.

During the hearing, the committee also sought explanations for various expenditures, including funds allocated annually to the African First Ladies Mission project and N45m spent on a New Year party for children, among others.

The proceeding, however, ended in a deadlock due to raised voices and intense arguments from both sides.

Kafilat emphasised that the probe was not a witch-hunt but a necessary step to ensure that contractors who fulfilled their obligations received payment.

She said, “We must work together to identify and address any instances of misappropriation, non-execution of contracts or breaches of the Procurement Act.”

The minister noted that the ministry lacked funds, saying, “On the issue of the contracts, even the ones given when I was there, they have not been paid. So, there is no partiality, except that we are underfunded. We don’t have money.”

The session became more heated as members grilled her which made Kafilat adjourn the session indefinitely, saying, “I cannot be here and allow the honourable minister to insult any member of this committee. We are going to adjourn sine die, and I hope by the time we call the minister and her team again, they will be able to behave themselves.”

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