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Senate exposes N12bn fraud in NAPEP deals

By The Citizen
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The Senate, yesterday, said it has uncovered N10 billion belonging to the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) that got trapped in some failed financial institutions in the country.

The legislative chamber also said it found out that N150 million meant for the supply of spare-parts for the tricycles, otherwise known as Keke NAPEP, was carted away by a contractor.

The Senate made the discovery while questioning the Co-ordinator of NAPEP, Alhaji Murktar Tefawa Belawa over N12 billion poverty reduction fund.

The agency claimed it lacked the structural framework to possibly recover the missing funds and that it had been unable to recover the money because some of the banks had ceased to exist.

The Senator Ahmed Lawan-led Committee on Public Account also discovered how the agency paid additional N171 million as Customs duties for the spare-parts that were not supplied  and another  N605 million carted away by some Keke NAPEP operators on the umbrella of Keke Riders Association of Nigeria, KRAN.

The agency was alleged to have also paid another N1.4 billion for projects that were not verified by the Auditor General of the  Federation.

Representatives of the AGF at the session, told the panel that some of the contracts, which the agency had paid for were yet to be verified.

National Coordinator, NAPEP, Alhaji Tefawa Belawa, told the committee that beneficiaries of the intervention fund failed to remit another N700 million revenue and that the agency had since written the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, on how Auto Ban Limited  had disappeared with the said N150 million paid for the supply of spare-parts.