civil servant

How a Civil Servant in Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, Saliu Adebayo Exploits Loopholes to Secure Federal Contracts

Secrets Reporters

In Nigeria, civil servants are strictly prohibited from engaging in private business or trade, with the sole exception being farming or agricultural activities. This regulation is designed to ensure that public servants remain fully dedicated to their official duties, free from conflicts of interest that could undermine the integrity of their work. Despite these clear restrictions, a disturbing trend has emerged where some civil servants circumvent these laws, leading to significant financial losses for the country.

In a recent investigation by SecretsReporters, evidence of contract racketeering within the Jigawa State’s Ministry of Education has come to light. Saliu Adebayo, a civil servant employed by the Ministry of Finance in Dutse, Jigawa State, is at the center of this controversy. Despite the explicit prohibition against civil servants engaging in private business, Adebayo has been securing federal contracts through his company, Sul Ade Nigeria Limited.

Saliu Adebayo has been a part of the Ministry of Finance since March 2011, serving as an Accountant Assistant. His responsibilities, as outlined on his social media profile, include the preparation of accounting information and financial statements for state ministries, evaluating ministry finances in accordance with the state budget, and preparing expenditure and revenue vouchers.

Sul Ade Nigeria Limited, incorporated on July 2, 2002, under registration number 455552, is based in Agunpopo, Oyo State. The company’s registered office is located at No. 12, Elewi Street, Agunpopo, Oyo. The directors of Sul Ade Nigeria Limited include Sulie Adebayo, Saliu Adebayo, Afisi Adebayo and Liadi Adebayo

Some of the contracts accessed by SecretsReporters include, On 20 December 2018, FGC Odogbolu made a payment of ₦12,539,034.80 to Sul Ade Nigeria Limited as a meal subsidy for October and November 2018. The transaction IDs were 1000537616-10 and 0517026024.

While on 11 February 2022, FGC Ogbomosho paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦16,389,840.00 as a meal subsidy for January 2022. The transaction IDs were 1000905879-2 and 0517026025. On the same date, FGGC Oyo paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦9,290,913.50 for food supplied to the college for students’ consumption, with transaction IDs 1000905871-3 and 0517026074.

On 23 March 2022, FGC Ogbomosho made another payment of ₦16,389,840.00 to Sul Ade Nigeria Limited as a meal subsidy for February 2022. The transaction IDs were 1000919850-1 and 0517026025.

On 04 April 2022, FGC Ogbomosho paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦16,389,840.00 for the supply of food for March 2022. The transaction IDs were 1000931833-3 and 0517026025. On the same date, FGGC Oyo paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦8,833,556.00 for food supplied to the college for students’ consumption, with transaction IDs 1000931829-3 and 0517026074.

On 24 May 2022, FGC Ogbomosho paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦16,389,840.00 for the supply of food for April 2022. The transaction IDs were 1000941991-3 and 0517026025. On the same date, FGGC Oyo paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦5,009,636.00 for food supplied to the college for students’ consumption, with transaction IDs 1000941988-3 and 0517026074.

On 21 June 2022, FGC Ogbomosho made a payment of ₦16,389,840.00 to Sul Ade Nigeria Limited as a meal subsidy for May 2022. The transaction IDs were 1000952222-3 and 0517026025. On the same date, FSTC Igangan Town, Oyo State, paid Sul Ade Nigeria Limited ₦8,774,900.00 for the supply of food items, with transaction IDs 1000952250-3 and 0517026108.

Violations of public contract laws, such as those allegedly committed by Adebayo, have severe consequences for Nigeria. It is estimated that such practices cost the country approximately $10 billion annually. These violations involve civil servants awarding contracts to favored contractors or even their own companies, directly contravening regulations intended to prevent conflicts of interest and uphold public service integrity.

Adebayo’s contracts gotten majorly from the Federal Ministry of Education are totaled to be ₦126,397,240.30.

Documents obtained by SecretsReporters reveal a series of transactions where Sul Ade Nigeria Limited was awarded lucrative contracts for supplying food items and meal subsidies to various federal government colleges. For example, payments to Sul Ade Nigeria Limited for meal subsidies and food supplies included:

Efforts to reach Saliu Adebayo for comments were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

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