Contractor Returns N30.6 Million to FG After Receiving Double Payment From Humanitarian Ministry

A long-term Federal Government contractor, James Okwete, has shown a rare act of honesty by refunding N30,604,651.16 to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs after he was mistakenly paid twice for a completed contract under the former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq.

The contract, which was worth N35 million, involved the design and development of training manuals for the N-Tech Hardware track of the N-Power programme, a component of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Okwete, who runs Adatech Integrated Services Limited, was awarded the contract on December 29, 2020, and announced on January 4, 2021. The contract was signed by the Director of Procurement, Shittu F.O., on behalf of Umar-Farouq.

However, due to an error in the payment system, Okwete received double payment of N30,607,651.16 into his First Bank account. He was notified of the mistake by the NSIP in a letter dated April 27, 2021, signed by the Director of Finance and Accounts (NSIP), Adaramoye Joseph, for the Minister.

The letter asked Okwete to refund the excess amount to the NSIP account, with the narration “Refund of Payment”. Okwete complied with the request and returned the money on October 13, 2021, as confirmed by a remita payment document obtained by Punch.

Okwete’s honesty has been commended by many Nigerians, who praised him for his integrity and patriotism. His action also serves as a lesson for other contractors and public officials, who may be tempted to take advantage of the loopholes in the system.

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