OrderPaperToday- The Senate yesterday discovered about N350m alleged fraud in the Land Swap Scheme for the Federal Capital Territory through the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).

The alleged fraud was revealed as the red chambers continued their close inspection into the 2016 budget proposal.

Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Dino Melaye said the entire report of the process is cumbersome and ambiguous, stressing that such an important project is expected to undergo a pilot scheme engaging one or two districts as projects samples.

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He explained that the huge project is steeped in cases of favouritism and too important to be ridiculed.

“The committee notes that despite the good intention of the Land Swap initiative, the coordinators of the programme failed to follow the principle of due process. There was flagrant disregard for financial regulations and the extant laws.

“The programme was hijacked by super powers of this country, thereby making the coordinators lose focus,” he said

Melaye said that some of the addresses provided by the investors could not be traced and the committee’s communication could not get them, adding that the amount derived from each investor is not stated or captured in FCTA submission and the total amount accrued to FCTA is also not stated.

According to him, the Committee will not hesitate to ensure that all administrative anomalies, misappropriation of funds or misapplication of the laws as the case maybe occasioned by the past administration of the FCT demands justice in the way and manner lands were allocated to investors in the Land Swap Scheme.

Responding, Minister of FCT Mohammed Bello noted that the Land Swap Policy is one of the recent policies that have been in public discourse for quite some time by all stakeholders particularly members of the National Assembly, stressing that the policy is very important to all Nigerians.

“Like I mentioned to you this is one policy that has been of great concern to many of the stakeholders who have communicated with us. Obviously because of the technical nature of the matter, I have this morning come together with all the relevant heads of department and all the experts and if time permits I think they will take us through the entire process from the very beginning up to the end,” he said

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