A civil society organisation, Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), has reported the Ministry of Agriculture to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over allegations of mismanagement and refusal to pay retention funds belonging to contractors engaged by the ministry between 2018 and 2020.
CPA Executive Director, Olufemi Lawson, in the petitions submitted to the headquarters of both commissions, said the allegations are products of its findings from workers, contractors and stakeholders within and outside the ministry.
The retention in question, according to the group, is the five per cent amount from the contract sum deducted and kept by agencies of government, which is expected to be paid back to the contractors after six months of job completion, with job certified as being properly done, after final verifications by the agency of government.
The group said nonpayment of retention started in the year 2018. In 2019, 75 per cent of contractors were not paid the main contract sum, not to talk of their various retention, as funds originally allocated for this purpose were spent on projects unbudgeted for.