The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed that it actually awarded a contract worth N30 million for the construction of a mosque in Borno State.
The ministry said the construction of the mosque came due to a request from a resettled community who were sacked from their original community by Boko Haram.
In a statement signed by the Director of Information in the Ministry, Theodore Ogaziechi, the ministry disclosed that it would also provide solar-powered boreholes and overhead tanks, among other amenities for the community.
“To put the facts straight, the memo is authentic and appropriate in all ramifications.
It is original and was issued by the ministry for the construction of a worship center for a community of livestock farmers who were sacked and displaced in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents and are be- ing resettled in Ngarannam/ Mafa Local Government, Borno State.
“Apart from the mosque, other facilities being provided include livestock for farmers in the community, solar-powered boreholes with overhead tanks and drinking troughs for cattle and small ruminants, water harvesting structures, milk collection centre, resettlement abode, as well as other infrastructure to properly settle and rehabilitate the displaced livestock farmers.
“The construction of the mosque was a special request from the community through the Borno State government to avoid moving too far from the settlement areas for prayers and also to ensure their safety and contact with the insurgents.
“The memo is an official document and it is available for public scrutiny and review. It is therefore unfortunate for anyone to presume that the memo leaked.
“The ministry is in no way perturbed about the matter because it received appropriate approval, carried out due needs assessment and ensured due process in the execution of the project.
“It is advised that in future, due diligence and restraint should be observed by our media friends before publication of this nature, meant for public good and security, are issued to avoid raising false alarm and creating unnecessary rancor in the public space which may lead to overheating of the polity.
When the contract letter was circulated in the social media, there was a nationwide outrage as to why the Ministry of Agriculture would award a contract for the construction of a mosque.”
In a letter from the Procurement Department of the Ministry dated 10th December 2020, the Ministry had awarded a N30 million contract to one El-Shukhur Multi-Biz Nig Ltd located at Number 15 Jahun Quarters, Bauchi State, a contract to construct Friday Mosque in an unspecified location.