More details are emerging on how the outgoing Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle withdrew funds from the State’s treasury as payment for projects that are completely abandoned across the State.
Checks into the names of the contractors have shown that most of the companies that were awarded the projects are either connected directly or indirectly to the outgoing Governor. And in most cases, the contractors were awarded multiple contracts ranging from road constructions, construction of Governor’s lodges across local government areas, and other abandoned projects that consumed billions of Naira.
Zamfara State has been in the news for the wrong reasons for decades. Recently there was a report of how state government workers cried out that they celebrated the Eid fiesta on an empty stomach because Governor Matawalle failed to pay their monthly salary.
The workers accused the Governor of intentionally refusing to approve the payment of the salary because he lost his re-election bid. Though the State has been in the bad books for not paying salaries to its workers when due.
Findings by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) positioned Zamfara as the most underdeveloped state in the country. The study by the Bureau of Statistics has concluded that 78 percent of the residents of the state are poor.
This is a state that is in dire need of government interventions and programs that will alleviate poverty across the state. The people in Zamfara need investments that will provide them with jobs that will address the high level of unemployment, especially the youth.
Instead of focusing on projects that will improve the standard of living in Zamfara, the outgoing government of Bello Mohammed Matawalle has directed most of its attention to shady projects that commenced and abruptly abandoned in the process.
It is public knowledge how contractors abandoned the project to construct Governor’s lodges across 14 local government areas of the State. Billions of Naira were withdrawn from the state’s treasury and paid to contractors for the payment of the lodges that were not 30% completed.
This corrupt practice of withdrawing funds for shady projects or uncompleted projects has gotten into almost all sectors, not only the proposed Governor’s lodges. More facts have emerged on how the outgoing government withdrew and released complete payment to contractors for works not executed.
An investigation into such projects has exposed Governor Matawalle’s mismanagement of State funds – where payments were made to contractors on works that are yet to be completed.
The outgoing Zamfara State government has approved the sum of 593,535,254.00 for the construction of the road that links Kaiwa to Lamba to Gidan Goga ward on the Kauran Namoda/Shinkafi Federal Highway. The total sum of 525,510,516.77 has been released to the contractor, MotherCat Nigeria Limited. The outstanding payment for the project is 68,024,737.23, yet no work has started.
The outgoing government also approved the sum of 1,875,259,890.00 for the construction of Danmarke to Kanoma Road in the Maru local government Area of the state. The total sum of 1,567,566,531.65 has been withdrawn from the government account and released to the contractor NAEL BIN HARMAL Hydro Export (NBHH) Nigeria Limited. The outstanding is 307,693,358.35 and unfortunately, the project is yet to commence.
Furthermore, a contractor the Syndicate Construction and Commercial Company LTD was awarded a contract to construct two roads; the Maradun to Magami and Faru Road in outgoing Governor Matawalle’s local government and also to construct Mada to Wonaka, R/Bore Road. The sum of 3,39,118,189.70 was withdrawn from Zamfara State’s treasury and released as payment for the work, which is yet to commence much less of completion.
The total sum of 172,486,489.45 has been released to M. Sulaiman Enterprises Limited as payment from the Zamfara State government for the construction of a 600-meter Chediya Ukku – Gidan Mayana – Magama to Tullukawa along Anka Road. No work has started.
A contractor, Solid Soils Limited, was awarded the contract to construct Kwanar Magarya to Magama to Yanbuki to Jibiya Road. The sum of 929,502,249.04 was released from the state government’s account as payment for the work, yet there is nothing to show for it.
On a final note, the outgoing government of Bello Mohammed Matawalle has approved the reconstruction and completion of the General Hospital in Shinkafi local government. The sum of 2,429,301,036.61 has been released to the contractor 180 Circle Construction and Engineering Limited which constituted more than 80% of the total amount approved for the project, yet there is nothing to show for the work.
These are some of the shady and abandoned projects that the outgoing government of Zamfara State has perfected the release of funds as payments to contractors.