The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has tendered an “unreserved” apology to Babatunde Fashola’s Ministry of Works and Housing over a petition by the church accusing the ministry of corruption.
Niyi Adebanjo, who spoke on behalf of the church, said the petition was not targeted at Mr Fashola but was meant to expose some perceived sharp practices involving the Ife-Ifewara road in Osun State.
The church and the ministry were at the Public Hearing of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, the Ministry of Works and Housing said in a statement Thursday.
Mr Adebanjo, a pastor in RCCG, said they thought that the Federal Government was to approve another payment for the road which was rehabilitated free by Encoh Adeboye, the church’s General Overseer, as part of the church’s Social Corporate Responsibility.
“The rehabilitation of the road was awarded and paid for by Pastor Enoch Adeboye, hence any further claim by any company should be seen as illegal and unjust,” Mr Adebanjo said.
“Ministry of Works and Housing deserves an apology from us and because the whole world is listening to us, I tender that apology. Unreservedly,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Fashola had clarified the issue of payment to Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited in respect of the rehabilitation of the road
According to the RCCG, payment was made to the contractor by the ministry for rehabilitation of the road which was done by the Church between 2016 and 2019.
The Director of Press and Publicity, FMWH, Boade Akinola, said in a statement that Mr Fashola debunked the allegation by the church that monies were paid to the contractor.
The minister clarified that no payment was made by the current administration with respect to the rehabilitation of the road.
Mr Fashola stated that the contract was awarded to Messrs Cartill Construction Nigeria Limited five years before the Buhari Administration and six years before he was appointed as a Minister of Works and Housing.
He said the then Minister of Works only approved the mandatory 15 per cent mobilisation fee on March 31, 2011, and another payment was made after the work had reached about 26.21 per cent on Dec. 29, 2011.
“These payments were all made four years before the Buhari’s administration,” he said.
He stated that the ministry did not make any payment to the contractor as a refund or certify any work done between 2016 and 2019.
Mr Fashola added that the road in question was not a federal road but the contract was initiated as Parliamentary Constituency Project which was domiciled in the budget of the ministry.
Hence the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
While he thanked the chairman and other distinguished members of the committee for its impartial and dispassionate consideration of the petition, Mr Fashola said there was no basis for the petition by way of facts or evidence.
While commending the leadership of RCCG for intervening in the rehabilitation of the road, Mr Fashola explained that there were procedures to be followed in intervening on federal and state roads.
Speaking, the Committee Chair, Patrick Akinyelure, commended the minister for his presentation and for correcting the impression that some monies were paid during the Buhari-led administration.
He said the purpose of the public hearing was to clear all grey areas regarding payments that were alleged to be paid by the ministry and not to witch-hunt anybody.
He commended the RCCG for the intervention and for crying out for the perceived wrong doing, but charged them to follow due procedure and guideline in future intervention to avoid a repeat of such occurrence.
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