By Muhammadu Abubakar Maradun
An investigation into some of the activities of the outgoing Zamfara State government under Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has exposed how full payments were released from the state’s treasury to contractors on white elephant projects.
The investigation has uncovered so many shady projects across the 14 local government areas of the State, where projects were awarded, and funds withdrawn and disbursed, yet are either abandoned or not near the execution stage.
The incoming government of Governor-elect Dauda Lawal will have a very tough battle to fight, especially going after the people behind the firms awarded and paid for shady contracts by the outgoing government of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.
Among such projects initiated by the Bello Matawalle led-government is the construction and furnishing of the Governor’s Lodge in each local government area which has gulped huge amounts of money without anything to show for it.
This in-depth report has investigated the claim that the Governor’s Lodges in question were constructed and well-furnished. Findings through visits to all locations of the said project have exposed the names of the contractors that received the payments from the Zamfara State government.
The amount earmarked and released for each local government differs, and the projects were shared among different contractors for execution. The irony is the disbursement of full payment in some cases and over 90% payment to some contractors without completing the projects. Specific projects were abandoned halfway through in some local governments.
A contractor with the company H3D International Concepts was paid the sum of two billion, one hundred and seventy-one million, three hundred and three thousand Naira (2, 171, 303, 781.50) as a consultancy service in respect of 147 dispensaries in the 14 Governor’s Lodges across the state.
The Zamfara State government has released the sum of One billion, five hundred and twenty-six million Naira (1, 526, 000, 000) to a contractor, the owner of Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited to furnish the yet-to-be-completed Governor’s Lodge across the 14 local governments.
In Maradun, outgoing Governor Matawalle’s local government, the sum of 118, 281, 150.00 was released to Zannah Kachalla World Link as a complete payment for the construction of the Governor’s lodge. The project has not reached 70% of completion despite withdrawing the total amount of the award from the State Treasury.
In Anka local government area, the outgoing Governor approved the sum of 118, 281, 150.00 to construct the Governor’s Lodge in the local government. 102, 313, 194.75 was released to the contractor, ERMANO Global Enterprise, with the outstanding of 15, 967, 955.25.
Over 80% payment has been released to this project. Pictures from the site of the Governor’s Lodge in Anka LGA have shown only work in progress, not in the final stage of execution, much less furnishing the building.
The contract to construct the Governor’s Lodge in Kauran Namoda and Zurmi local government areas were awarded to SWAT Aga Constructions Nigeria Limited at the sum of 236, 562, 300.00 out of which the sum of 230, 648, 242.40 was released to the contractor.
The outstanding payment to be released to the contractor is the sum of 5, 914, 057.00. Yet, the pictures from the project site in both local government areas show nothing near the final stage of execution despite over 90% disbursement of funds.
The same company Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited, who received over one billion payments meant for the contract to furnish the yet-to-be-completed Governor’s Lodge, was awarded another contract to construct four Governor’s Lodge Bungudu, Bakura, Talatar Mafara and Maru local government areas at the sum of 473,124,600.00. The sum of 461,296,485.50 was paid to Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited for the work. The total outstanding payment is 11, 828, 114.50. The projects in these four local government areas were abandoned when filing this report.
The outgoing government awarded the contract to construct Governor’s Lodge in Shinkafi local government to one A.G Almajir multi-dynamic LTD at the sum of 118, 281, 150.00. The sum of 115, 324, 121.25 was released to the contractor for the work. The outstanding to be paid is 2, 957, 028.75. Yet, the project has been on hold despite releasing over 90% of the funds meant for it.
C.G.G.C Engineering Limited was awarded the contract to construct a Governor’s Lodge in Gummi local government. The total amount for the completion of the construction is 118, 281, 150.00 and the sum of 114, 732, 715.50 was released to the company as payment for the project with the outstanding of 3, 548, 434.50. The progress of the Governor’s Lodge project in Gummi has not reached up to 80% completion and has been abandoned yet. Over 80% payment has been made.
De Ludo Store LTD was awarded a contract for the total sum of 118, 281, 150.00 to construct the Governor’s Lodge in the Birnin Magaji local government area. The sum of 94, 624, 920.00 has been withdrawn from Zamfara State Treasury and equally released to the contractor. The outstanding payment is 23, 656, 230. 00 yet the project is abandoned halfway.
In a similar vein, Governor Matawalle has awarded a contract of a total sum of 236, 562, 300.00 to the name ‘Ruwan Dorawa’ for the construction of the Governor’s Lodge in the Bakura local government area. The sum of 167, 774, 654.73 has been released to the contractor. The remaining balance is 68, 787, 645.27. The project in Bakura is not up to 50% done and has been abandoned.
Danguruf Pharmaceutical Limited has been awarded a contract for a total sum of 59, 141, 575. 00 to construct Governor’s Lodge in Bukkuyum local government area. The sum of 35, 608, 185.13 was withdrawn from the State treasury and released to the contractor. The outstanding for the project is 23, 533, 389.87 which is yet to commence.
More damning details of other shady projects awarded by the outgoing government of Mr. Matawalle will be released in due course.