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Agriculture Ministry to Cough Up Le8.6m

Agriculture Ministry to Cough Up Le8.6m

The Public Account Committee (PAC) in parliament has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security to refund the sum of Le8.6 million which the ministry claims was stolen.

The committee gave the order on Wednesday, June 12, during a meeting in parliament where six ministries were summoned to answer questions relating to the use of public funds and the audit service report, 2012.

Vice-Chairman of the committee, Honorable Komba Konoyiema of Constituency 27 in Kono District, vowed that the committee will penalize the ministry if it does not refund the allegedly stolen money.

Honorable Konoyiema accused the Agriculture Ministry of not keeping proper records and not following proper procurement procedure, payment without supporting document, noting that proper record keeping eases the work of the Auditors. He maintained that if the ministry had proper record keeping, no criminal would have stolen the Le8.6 million from the seal of bidding.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, Honorable Chernor Bah, warned MDAs to desist from giving vague excuses for their financial irregularities, further emphasizing that the committee is no longer prepared to accept such vague excuses.

PAC requested the Agriculture Ministry to produce a documented police report and other relevant supporting documents of the theft of Le8.6 million.

Other ministries summoned by the PAC included the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources among others.

By Mohamed Yusuf Turay

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