Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Tertsea Ikyaabo today told the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Judicial Commission of Inquiry that the construction of the Makurdi International Market cost the state government 2.8 billion Naira even as
the project was was planned to occupy both sides of the George Akume road with a fire service station, banking hall, police post, restaurant, clinic, conference hall and administrative block at the cost of N1.7bn.
He said the contract, which was awarded to Metropole development Ltd, was later reduced to be sited only on one side of the road with an ironic upward review of the cost to N2.8bn.
According to him, though the ministry was aware of its conception and construction, no staff of the ministry was involved in the monetary transactions involving the market from start to completion.
Justice Elizabeth Kpojime asked the permanent secretary to find and submit the contract documents of the construction of the market. He was also asked to find out and report to the Commission if there was any document approving the setting up of the market, as well as other relevant documents.
The Permanent Secretary also informed that Benue Brewery and Agro Millers have completely been sold out and that the state government no longer had any shares in those companies.
Testifying before the Commission, Mr Ikyaabo also stated that some other companies belonging to the state government had been leased to other managers. They included Taraku mills Ltd which had been leased to Growrich resources Ltd, Lobi cassava flour mills to Apex products Ltd and another leased to Oracle Nigeria Ltd.
The permanent secretary said he had no knowledge of any documents showing whether the companies were valued or not before they were sold, neither were there any documents of bidding or sale.
The commission therefore adjourned to 9th October 2015