On February 13, a Facebook page identified as Radio Biafra shared an image with the caption, “Myetti Allah is now an official Federal Government Contractor. An official way of receiving funding from Nigerian Government.”
The content of the image shared by Radio Biafra is a project execution signboard in Nguzu Edda, Afikpo South, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
The project is stated as ‘Construction of Primary Health Care Centre,’ and the ‘Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) under the Presidency of the Federal Government of Nigeria’ is the agency claimed to be carrying out the project. It lists the ‘Federal Government of Nigeria’ as the sponsor of the project.
The signboard also cited ‘Miyetti Allah NCC Ltd. with address Shop A9, Block 2, Wuse Old Market, Abuja,’ as the contractor for the said project.
As of the time of filing this report, the Radio Biafra post has 152 shares, 25 comments and 237 reactions.
N-VA extracted the claim, “Miyetti Allah Is A Registered Contractor Of The Federal Government” and went ahead to verify this viral image.
POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THE CLAIM
This project signboard with its accompanying claim by Radio Biafra states that the Fulani herders under the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), popularly known as Miyetti Allah have become project contractors for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
What is the meaning of this nonsense?
Miyetti Allah is now a contractor for Federal Government? pic.twitter.com/PYj5YgF0fX
— Anambra 1st son💭 (@UchePOkoye) February 11, 2021
It is imperative to confirm the authenticity of this claim made by Radio Biafra on Facebook, Mr. Okoye on Twitter, and several broadcast messages on WhatsApp.
Also, this claim was made at a time when the Fulani herdsmen associated with Miyetti Allah have been profiled as killers with government support and a brewing ethnic and religious conflict, following worsening insecurity as a result of extra-judicial killings, kidnappings, banditry, and farm invasion across the country.
The claim has the potential to deepen the ethnic conflict and promote allegations that the Buhari-led administration is running a politics of favouritism, ethnic divide, and supremacy hence, the need to fact-check its authenticity.
What is Miyetti Allah?
In the Hausa language, Miyetti Allah means ‘I Thank God.’ and many people of Hausa origin are known to use the pseudonym for their business enterprise and associations, which is the case of the herdsmen group known loosely as Miyetti Allah.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), popularly known as Miyetti Allah has been at the forefront of farmers-herders clash in Nigeria for decades. It however gained more prominence around 2010, following the renewed farmers-herders clash in Northern Nigeria, which has since spread to the Southern region.
Has Miyetti Allah become a federal government contractor?
The Google reverse image search for the viral image of the project signboard showed that it had been circulating on Twitter since February 11 and on Facebook, since February 13. This claim also gained prominence on WhatsApp as the fact-checker first encountered it as a forwarded message on WhatsApp groups with the caption ‘Modern Nigeria…..’
To verify whether the project contractor, MIYETTI ALLAH NCC LTD. mentioned in the viral image was a real company, the fact-checker searched the database of Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In Nigeria, one of the requirements, before you can apply to become a consultant, bid for tenders or contracts in any Federal government ministry, department, or agency (MDA), is that your business or company must be registered or incorporated with the CAC.
When the fact-checker used the CAC search portal to see the businesses or companies registered under the name, Miyetti Allah, it revealed seven under the company section, thirty-one under business, and two under incorporated trustees but none was registered as MIYETTI ALLAH NCC LTD.
However, under the company section, the fact-checker came across a company registered as “MIYETTI ALLAH NIGERIA LIMITED” with RC Number 462278 and has been registered since September 19, 2002. And the address listed for the company is ‘Block A9, Shop 2, Wuse Modern Market, Abuja, FCT.’
MIYETTI ALLAH NIGERIA LIMITED has a variation of the same address used for MIYETTI ALLAH NCC LTD in the image is verified. The latter is allegedly situated at, ‘Shop A9, Block 2, Wuse Old Market, Abuja while the former’s registered address with CAC is ‘Block A9, Shop 2, Wuse Modern Market, Abuja, FCT.’
The fact-checker did not find any documentation to confirm if MIYETTI ALLAH NCC LTD. is a registered company in Nigeria or has ties with MACBAN.
Is the project mentioned in the signboard real?
To verify if the construction of the Primary Health care centre project in the Ebonyi community was budgeted by OSSAP-SDGs for execution, the fact-checker assessed the 2020 budget of the Office of the Presidency under which OSSAP-SDGs is stationed.
Nominated projects for OSSAP-SDGs in the 2020 budget before amendment
A look at the column for the OSSAP-SDGs office revealed that there is no listed project for the construction of health care centre in Afikpo South, Ebonyi state neither was any project nominated for the South East or South-South region of the country in the amended 2020 budget for OSSAP-SDGs.
Nominated projects for OSSAP-SDGs in the 2020 budget after the amendment
N-VA went on to search for the project using the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO), the federal government’s open data portal for public procurement and contracts managed by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). The search result for the keyword “Primary Health Care centre,” using the OSSAP-SDGs as a specific search outline for the 2019 and 2020 budget came back with ‘no result.’
The fact-checker also consulted the federal government’s Open Treasury Portal to verify if the project had received funding. The search for the keyword “Afikpo” returned results unrelated to the Primary Health Care Centre project in Afikpo south
The claim made viral by Radio Biafra and Mr. Okoye that the herdsmen association MACBAN, popularly referred to as Miyetti Allah has become a federal government contractor is FALSE as the company listed on the project signboard is not registered with the CAC or has any known ties with MACBAN, neither is the project name mentioned on the signboard budgeted for by OSSAP-SDGs in the 2020 budget.