MPs grill minister over N45 million spent on New Year’s Eve party and others

The House of Representatives has questioned the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, for spending unrelated expenses, including N45 million for a New Year party and N20 million for sanitary pads, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Wednesday.

Others include N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

NAN reports that Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, the Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs, led the questioning of the minister over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the release of funds in Abuja.

He said the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and Ministry officials.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds intended for payments to contractors, following a request from the contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on the funds allocated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion earmarked for payments to contractors.

The minister, however, denied allegations of misappropriation, excessive spending and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed the contractors’ claims and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged paying only for approved contracts.

It should be recalled that the committee had summoned the Minister at its last session to appear before it to explain the reason for the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the suspension of all contracting processes for the year 2024 of the Ministry of Women until the whereabouts of the money from said contracts is determined.


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