NARICT DG Denies Corruption, Abuse Of Office Allegations

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Convener Coalition of Kaduna CSOs, Comrade Zubairu Mukhtar (left) with DG NARICT Zaria, Professor Jeffrey Barminas.

By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria

Director-General, National Research Institute For Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria, Prof. Jeffrey Barminas has described the allegations of corruption and abuse of office against him by Network For Justice (an NGO) as  unsubstantiated.

The Director-General told newsmen  in Zaria that the allegations were false aimed at distracting the management from its developmental strides.

It would be recalled that the Network for Justice (an NGO) had petitioned to the Minister of Science and Technology, and Chairman Code of Conduct Bureau in a letter dated January 25, 2021, which was signed by Auwalu Musa.

The copy of the petition to the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau was made available to newsmen  and it alledgedly accused the Director–General of abuse of office and breach of public service.

The petition also accused the Director General of Corruption and use of ethnic and religious sentiments in running the affairs of the institution.

The organization also accused the Director-General of partiality in the promotion exercise, non remittance of internally generated revenue, witch-hunting in the transfer of staff and irregularity in contract awards.

According to the petitions, the action of the Director-General contravened the provisions of the Fifth Schedule, Part one, Sections one and nine of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended.

They appealed for a powerful administrative inquiry into the activities of the   Director-General NARICT to establish, confirm or otherwise, the content of this petition with a view to saving the institution.

 Reacting to the allegations, the Director-General said the petition was not new, adding that he has been receiving petitions since his assumption of office in 2017 some of them, faceless and anonymous.

Barminas said that the petition from Network for Justice was similar to the previous petitions against him, reason being that the content were similar with just a few modifications which he also said were false.

The Director-General said he responded to the petitions to both the Minister of Science and Technology and the Chairman of NARICT Governing Board in letters reference number NARICT/CON.74/VOL.VII/783 dated Oct. 12, 2018.

He added that the other letter was NARICT/ADM.559/CGB/HRM/1/37 dated May 23, 2019 and NARICT/CON.74/VOL.XII/34 dated Feb. 26, 2021.  

He said when he assumed office in 2017 he met only three out stations that were functional and he added additional three outstations to reflect the six geopolitical zones with the approval of the minister.

“In effecting the transfers skills and competencies of staff were considered in congruent with the natural resources of the zone.

He said there is also a need for certain specific cadres in the outstations such as researchers, marketers and administrators.

“ The two Deputy Directors Dr. Musa Mohammed was posted to Amasiri, Ebonyi State to drive the utilization of indigenous Technologies in salt Project.

“Dr. Haruna as a Chemical engineer, was transferred to Langtan to drive our solid mineral development programmes and Mr Bala Danladi was posted to Kano to handle commercial activities of the Institute,’’ he said.

On the allegation of non- remittance payment of Monthly staff rent to TSA, Prof. Barminas said the claim was another fabrication of lies as the petitioners failed to attach any evidence to support the allegation.

On the alternative, the D-G said rents are considered as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and N7, 529.732.50 being the remittances from staff salaries from 2017 to 2020 has been paid to Treasury Single Account (TSA) as required.

 On diversion of Budget funds, the Director- General said the petition had failed to explain how the budget was diverted looking at the period he took over in 2017.

“There is a huge difference between how budget funds were utilized before the period of my administration.  I had to set up a transition committee on assumption of duty in absence of handing over notes.

“The investigations reports from the Anti- Corruption and transparency Unit (ACTU) gives a clear picture of the financial and budgetary infractions by my predecessors in office.

The Director-General said the financial infraction as indicated ACTU/NARICT included  misapplication / misappropriation of budget funds, non implementation of approved projects with cash backing and movement of institute’s property without documentation. 

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