Agriculture monitoring vehicle worth N49M Jeeps missing from the Bank of Agriculture
NewsReport gathered that the Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, was unable to show evidence of the purchase of two Toyota Prado and one Ford Ranger Jeep worth N49m meant for monitoring the Federal Government’s Agricultural Mechanisation Programme during an investigative hearing by the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC).
The Committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, invited Hassan in response to a question raised by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, in his 2017 report on the alleged missing Jeeps at the Bank’s Kaduna state branch.
However, when the Managing Director of the Bank appeared before the committee to respond to the query of the missing vehicles worth about N49million, he could not present any document to prove that the vehicles were actually bought.
Hassan only presented a letter from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, which authorized the withdrawal of the money from the Agricultural Mechanization Fund to procure the vehicles.
His inability to show concrete evidence that the Jeeps were on the ground further shocked the lawmakers.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Urhoghide, wondered how the MD could have paid for the vehicles without seeing them in the first instance.
The Chairman insisted the vehicles were never bought by the Bank of Agriculture and sustained the query of the Auditor-General against the bank.
He however directed the immediate refund of the amount expended for the purchase of the vehicles into the Federation Account.
The AuGF’s query reads: “The Bank expended the sum of N49,026,333.32 from the Agricultural Mechanization Fund specifically meant for lending to operators, on various unrelated projects.
“For instance, the sum of N23,122,095.24 was paid to a motor dealer through payment voucher number 0103576 dated 29th September 2015 for the purchase of two Toyota Prado Jeeps.
“Similarly, the sum of N25,904,238.08 was paid to another motor dealer for the purchase of Ford Ranger Jeeps vide payment voucher number 0103579 of 29th September 2015.
“These purchases were purportedly made as project vehicles for the Agricultural Mechanization Programme. The management of the Bank could not justify the choice and the use of these exotic vehicles for supervision. The vehicles could also not be produced for inspection during the periodic check.
“The Managing Director should be compelled to account for all the stated motor vehicles, or refund to Government the sum of N49,026,333.32.”