Eight private companies have failed to account for up to UShs 3.9 billion meant to supply farm supplies to farmers under the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).
The companies that include; Equator Seeds Limited, Victoria Seeds Limited, Grow More Seeds and Chemicals and Pearl Seeds Limited supplied the items to farmers during the financial year 2013/2014.
Representatives of the companies appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), which resolved to investigate the companies contracted by NAADS.
The MPs said that the companies, which appeared before the committee on Thursday, 22nd February 2018 after being summoned did not present satisfactory evidence in response to the queries raised in the Auditor General’s report for the Financial Year 2013/2014.
Committee Chairperson, Abdul Katuntu (FDC, Bugweri County) described the action from such companies as unacceptable.
“How can a reputable company like Balton fail to get delivery and goods received notes; this could imply that supplies were not delivered,” said Katuntu.
He added that the documents that were presented by other companies did not prove existence of beneficiaries.
The other companies are Tropical Agro and Advisory Services, Farm Inputs Care Centre, Raj General and Balton Uganda Limited.
According to the Auditor General’s Report, the purchase and distribution of inputs by the companies to farmers is not supported by lists of beneficiaries or acknowledgement by beneficiaries.
“The committee will use these documents to trace the beneficiaries to ascertain if the inputs reached them since the companies failed to present the lists,” said Katuntu.
Katuntu added that the committee will carry out forensic audits of the documents that were presented to the committee.
“If we find that these documents are not authentic and deliveries were not made, the companies will refund the funds because our job as a committee is to ensure tax payers get value for money,” said Katuntu.
While appearing before the committee, some of the companies presented delivery notes and goods received notes while others did not have any supporting documentation.
The MPs on the committee expressed disappointment over failure by some companies including Balton, Victoria Seeds Limited, Farm inputs Care Centre, Pearl Seeds Limited and Tropical Agro and Advisory Services to present supporting documentation.
The Managing Director Balton, Agnes Mbabazi explained that some of the beneficiaries declined to sign delivery notes and goods received notes after receiving the goods
“Our transport officers delivered the supplies but they returned without delivery notes and goods received notes after the beneficiaries refused to sign,” said Mbabazi.
The committee further gave the companies and NAADS up to Tuesday, 27th February 2018 to present the necessary supporting documents to prove that the items were