The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has come under fire on social media following a leaked memo conveying the approval of N30m for the construction of a ‘Friday’ mosque with taxpayers’ funds.
The memo, dated December 10, 2020, with reference number FMA/PROC/AHS/SIP/2020/7742/1, stated that the Ministerial Tenders Board approved the contract.
The ministry is led by Kano-born Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, who was appointed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2019.
The document titled, ‘Award of Contract for the Construction of Friday Mosque’ was signed by the Deputy Director, Procurement, Musa Musa on behalf of the minister and was addressed to the Managing Director, El-Shukhur Multi-Buz Nig. Ltd.
It read in part, “I am directed to inform you that the ministerial tenders board at its 7th meeting held on December 7, 2020, approved the award of contract for the construction of Friday mosque to your company at the total sum of N30m only, inclusive of VAT, with a completion period of eight weeks with effect from the date of this letter.
“You are therefore required to indicate in writing within three days of receipt of this offer, your acceptance to the office of the director, procurement, FMARD, Abuja or otherwise, the offer will be considered lapsed.”
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development declined to make any official comment on the development.
Officials of the ministry demanded that a letter be written to the FMARD’s permanent secretary about the matter which was already trending.
The spokesperson of the ministry, Theodore Ogaziechi, told one of our correspondents that he would not comment on the matter as he had yet to be briefed about it when contacted.
However, it was observed that many employees at the ministry’s headquarters had seen the trending memo, although senior officials refused to endorse or deny its authenticity.
Meanwhile, a search through the 2020 budget by The PUNCH showed that no mosque construction was stated in the ministry’s estimates.
The document was shared several times on social media eliciting condemnation from several Nigerians.
A former lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye tweeted, “What! Despite all the challenges facing food security, building a mosque is the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s priority! To pray for rain or what? How did we get here for Heaven sake? What has the government got to do with churches or mosques?”
Nicholas Oduaran tweeted, “So this is part of the projects the loans the Federal Government is collecting will be used for?”
Obua Uchenna tweeted, “So hilarious and pathetic that the ministry of agric is building a mosque, the mumu wey de this country is mind blowing and it is getting worse.”
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See the memo below: