Alleged 423 Billion Fraud: El-Rufai’s officials give details of loans obtained, projects executed [See Full Lists]

 

Nasir El-Rufai, have provided details of the loans obtained by the administration and how they were used, again dismissing a probe of the administration by the state House of Assembly and the state government as political blackmail.

The state House of Assembly, last month, adopted the report of its ad-hoc committee that indicted Mr El-Rufai and requested his prosecution.

The lawmakers accused the ex-governor of mismanaging about N423 billion from loans obtained for the state by his administration.

The report alleged that the loans were not used for their intended purposes, and in some cases, due process was not followed in securing the loans.


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Mr El-Rufai served as governor for two terms between 2015 and 2023.

Responding for the second time at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the former commissioners said the report was tainted by bias, riddled with inaccuracies and intended to inflict reputational damage on the former governor and his government.

They said the legislative panel did not invite Mr El-Rufai, despite the former governor approaching the Federal High Court to seek the enforcement of his fundamental right to a fair hearing.

According to the former officials, the report did not show the trail of the allegedly siphoned funds but merely concocted figures.

They said the report did not show how the committee arrived at the figures it presented, how money was siphoned, and from which accounts and to where.

The former officials provided details of the loans obtained by the administration and the projects that were executed, accusing the Kaduna State Government of abandoning some of the projects.

Below is the statement by the former commissioners

This statement is a follow-up to our press conference of Friday, 14th June 2024. That was a preliminary response to a document on social media purporting to be the “Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities and Other Related Matters of the Government of Kaduna State from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023”. Since then, nothing has changed with regards to our receiving a certified true copy of the Report, its appendix and video and audio recordings pertaining to the investigations by the Ad-hoc Committee of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Till date, the Kaduna State House of Assembly has not responded to formal requests for the certified true copy of the Report it adopted at its sitting on 5th June 2024. Why would the House of Assembly be unable to officially release the Report to persons who were summoned by its Ad-hoc Committee which took their testimonies and then proceeded to write baseless recommendations?

2. Malam Nasir El-Rufai was not invited by the Ad-hoc Committee which made certain claims against him. As you are aware, he has approached the Federal High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental rights as a citizen who is entitled to be given a fair hearing before his rights can be determined by a quasi-judicial or investigative body or courts in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights

3. As senior officials in the El-Rufai Administration, which served the people of Kaduna State between May 2015 and May 2023, we restate our pride in the dedication and integrity of our service. We have previously described the Report circulating on social media as an unprofessional document, tainted by bias, exhibiting no serious interest in establishing facts. It is apparent to that the Report is riddled with inaccuracies and instances of falsification and misrepresentation of the testimonies provided by invited officials.

There is a dissonance between its recommendations and the testimonies the Ad-hoc Committee heard. It bears restating that its conclusions seem to have been to decided beforehand and were insulated from the facts. The Report is an attempt to inflict maximum reputational damage on certain selected members of the Kaduna State Executive Council, Class of 2015-2023. A litany of smears dressed up as an investigative Report

4. The Report indulges in the futility of plucking outlandish figures out of thin air in the hope of solidifying impressions of a scandalous and corrupt conduct. The avalanche of figures seems only to have had the effect of mesmerising the legislators who cite one amount here, and then something different on exactly the same figure. We now take up issues from the recommendations in the Report: I. Alleged siphoning of N423,115,028,072.88 On Page 169, the Ad-hoc Committee declared “that the total amount of moneys siphoned by the Government of Kaduna State from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023 is N423,115,028,072.88”.

Quite aside from the comical claim that a government siphoned money, nowhere in the Report is the trail of the allegedly siphoned funds shown. The Report does not show how they arrived at this figure, and how they decided that money had been siphoned, how it was done, from which accounts and to where. They just decreed a figure and declared it! This is the Ad-hoc Committee in action, indulging in voodoo accounting just to concoct a scandal.

i. We note that this same Kaduna State House of Assembly received and accepted the Audited Accounts of the State for each year from 2015 to 2022, but now wants the public to disregard the formal, legally, and constitutionally recognised public accounts of the State in favour of its wishy-washy, malicious but incompetent and poorly calculated attempt at legislative character assassination.

ii. Scrutiny of the Report easily shows that the Ad-hoc Committee is inconsistent with the figures it cited as the Domestic and Foreign Loans of the State. On Page 168, the Committee claimed that the total revenue that 3 accrued to the Kaduna State Government between May 2015 and May 2023 is N1,497,682,993.375 and $758,141,699. Perhaps they meant N1.497 trillion, since the N1.497 billion written in the Report wrote is too puny to have been State Government revenues over eight years. Even given this correction, the Report cites a contrary figure on Page 137. The table on Page 137, titled Summary of Receipt and Inflow to the State & LG from May 2015 to May 2023, puts the total revenue accruing to Kaduna State (State and 23 Local Governments) over those eight years at N1,236,080,191,080.72. Column 2 of that table puts N424,416,878,102.20 as the Local Government share of the revenues.

iii. The State Government’s share of revenues is put at N811,663,310,000 on Page 138. Yet, by the time they got to Page 168, the Committee had adopted a different figure of N1,497,682,993.375, without saying how and why. These contradictory figures within the same Report illustrate the lack of consistency, credibility and reliability of the so-called findings.

iv. The Ad-hoc Committee alleges that a State Government “siphoned” more than half of the N811.6bn it got as revenues over eight years, but it cannot even decide on the precise amount of these total revenues. v. The Audited Accounts of the State for 2015-2022, as certified by the Auditor-General and submitted to the State House of Assembly, and the unaudited accounts up to 29 May 2023 provide the following figures: a. Total Receipts – May 2015-May 2023 N1,152,068,336,280.23 b. Total Expenditure for same period N1,320,016,507,917.24 c. Budget Deficit for the same period N167,948,171,637 vi. The Audited Accounts, together with the 5-months unaudited accounts for 2023, also provide a breakdown of the expenditures: a. Personnel Cost (May 2015-May 2023) N361,615,641,995.04 4 b. Overhead Cost for the same period N183,973,434,766.63 c. Capital Expenditure: same period N838,961,505,155.32 d. Public Debt Charges: same period N7,810,202,724.86

vii. The figures from the Report and the summaries extracted from the Audited Accounts of the Kaduna State Government can be summarized below to prove the falsity of the allegation of some fictitious siphoning of funds: a. Total Inflows: State & 23 LGAs N1,236,080,191,080 b. Total Inflows: Kaduna State Govt N811,663,310,000 c. Personnel Cost (Audited Accounts) N361,615,641,995.04 d. Overhead Cost (Audited Accounts) N183,973,434,767.63 TOTAL RECURRENT EXPENDITURE
N545,589,076,762 BALANCE FOR CAPITAL PROJECTS N266 Billion

viii. If the Committee’s total of inflows above are correct, it means only N266bn was available to the State Government for all capital projects over eight years. Even a blind man that visits Kaduna Metropolis alone knows that the amount of development therein exceeds N266bn. So, from where, how, when and to where can N423bn be “siphoned”? This allegation, on Page 169, is falsehood in aid of legislative defamation.

ix. Budget deficits over the eight-year period of the El-Rufai Administration were obviously financed using foreign and domestic loans, and grants-in aid.

The Report begs the question as to where the Ad-hoc Committee obtained its figures for revenue, loans, and other “findings,” separate from the published accounts of the Kaduna State Government that were duly tabled before the House of Assembly as required by the Constitution.

x. In a challenging environment, the El-Rufai administration did not lament its luck and construe governance as an endless exercise in blaming the past. Rather, it brought innovations and governance capacity to Kaduna State that accelerated the State’s modernisation, supported human capital development, expanded its infrastructure, improved its business standing and promoted equality of opportunity.

The El-Rufai Administration gave the State its first digital land registry, improved its tax receipts and quadrupled internally generated revenue and made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Over eight years, it attracted US $5bn in foreign and domestic investments that created jobs and laid a solid foundation for the future.

II. State finances as of 29th May 2023 Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai stated in his farewell address on 29th May 2023, that “we have spent N818.9bn as capital expenditure between 2015 and 2022 in the prosecution of our first and second State Development Plans, attracting nearly US $5bn in foreign and domestic investments that created jobs, improved our tax receipts and laid a solid foundation for the future”.

He further disclosed that “as at the last financial year, Kaduna State has the following liabilities: a. Domestic debt: N64.54bn b. Other Contingent Liabilities: N16.06bn c. Foreign debts: US $577.32m” The variations between these figures, publicly declared by the head of the departing administration, and those cited in the Report are for the current administration to explain. On 30th March 2024, at the townhall meeting that was used as the trigger for this public phase of the reputation tarnishing project, the head of the current administration in the State put the debt burden at “587 million dollars, 85 billion naira”. On Page 168, the Ad-hoc Committee put the external debt at $758.14m, but also lists more than $2bn in loans it claimed the El-Rufai Administration took (Pages 112 to 116).

6. Further disbursements of loans between 1st January 2023 and 31st December 2023 may have taken the external debt stock higher than it was as of 31st December 2022. But the wide variance between the $587m figure cited by Governor Uba Sani in March 2024 and the $758.14m mentioned in the Report of 5th June 2024 is significant. The variations between these figures, publicly declared by the Head of the Departing Administration, and those cited in the Report are for the current Administration to explain.

This House of Assembly Ad-hoc Committee Report acknowledges that the El-Rufai Administration inherited external debts of $234m in 2015 (Page 168). VI. External Loans The El-Rufai administration diligently applied the loans it received. The details of all loans negotiated and received before May 2023 are available in the Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission. It is dishonest to claim otherwise. It is easy to verify from the same source those loans that were agreed by the El-Rufai administration, but which were not disbursed to the State before its exit.

i. We state categorically that practically every project initiated or commissioned by the current Administration in Kaduna State is based on programmes begun under the El-Rufai Administration, or whose funding was secured by that Administration. This includes the Forensic Lab and some projects funded by development loans, like the construction of six Science Secondary Schools (Islamic Development Bank), reconstruction and expansion of secondary schools under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) of the World Bank, revamping and equipping of 290 Primary Health Centres (World Bank P4R), or loans secured by the El-Rufai administration but disbursed to the State after its exit, like the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).

7 ii. How can the Kaduna State House of Assembly claim that the loans were not properly utilized when the projects for which they were obtained are the only things the current Administration can showcase? It is neither logical nor credible to disclaim and ridicule loan-taking while basking in the projects paid for by those same loans. iii. What the current administration in the State is doing is to enjoy the continuity of revenues from loans without acknowledging the Government that negotiated and secured them. Rather, the current government has reserved nothing but insults and needless demonisation for an administration to which it owes a lot of gratitude.

iv. World Bank P4R The Government of Malam Nasir El-Rufai inherited external debts of USD234m in 2015. It followed due process in securing all its loans and the testimony of Aminu Shagali, who was Speaker between June 2015 and early 2020 confirms this. a. To enhance delivery of its progressive governance agenda for Kaduna State, the El-Rufai Administration approached the World Bank for credit. The Board of the World Bank approved the credit in June 2017 as a Performance for Result (P4R) credit of USD350m. The conditions for the grant of this credit were entirely performance-driven. Kaduna State is so far the only subnational in Nigeria that has received this kind of credit.

b. This World Bank credit was disbursed under the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Performance for Result (P4R). It was structured to support Kaduna State to implement reforms to 8 improve the business enabling environment and strengthen fiscal management and accountability in Kaduna State. The programme was designed to run from 2017 to 2021. Disbursement of the loan was in tranches, tied to satisfactory performance in attaining clear milestones (the results), called Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).

The DLIs were the performance benchmarks to which specific tranches of disbursements were linked. The funds were disbursed only after the benchmark had been met. c. To ascertain that the DLIs had been attained, the El-Rufai administration selected PwC, a world-class firm certification agent to serve as the Independent Verification Agent (IVA). Given the careful stewardship of the El-Rufai administration, Kaduna State met the DLIs and received the full loan in tranches. d. A Performance for Result (P4R) credit is a budget support loan which ties disbursement of funds to successful attainment of performance benchmarks. It rewards the recipient for things adjudged already accomplished, leaving the recipient the freedom to make its spending choices through budgetary appropriations for funds so disbursed.

A P4R loan differs from a project-tied loan which funds the delivery of a specific project. This important distinction escaped the Ad-hoc Committee which questioned officials as if the World Bank P4R was a project-tied loan and refused to be educated by testimonies that explained to the contrary. e. Disbursement of the World Bank P4R loan was done between 2019 and 2021. This loan helped fund, among other progressive attainments, the Urban Renewal Programme the El-Rufai government undertook in the cities of Kaduna, Kafanchan and 9 Zaria. Some projects of the urban renewal programme were commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in January 2022.

f. The Ad-hoc Committee exposed its pitiable ignorance about Special Drawing Rights (XDR), a unit of account used in transaction by international development finance agencies. Monies denominated as XDR can be exchanged for a few international currencies like the US Dollar. In the report, the Adhoc Committee lists two alleged 2017 disbursements of the World Bank credit as XDRs and then lists another World Bank credit of USD350m, which was disbursed to the State between 2019 and 2021. The Ad-hoc Committee stated that the due process was followed in securing the 2017 disbursements, but that the 2019 did not. In their confusion and ignorance, they ended up counting disbursements under the same the World Bank loan twice!

g. The Committee chose to pretend not to be aware that although the World Bank credit became effective in 2017, illegal hold-ups at the Senate delayed the commencement of disbursements until 2019. It was the struggle to secure commencement of disbursement of this well-earned loan that propelled Uba Sani, the political adviser to former Governor El-Rufai in the first term, to the Senate in 2019. h. Despite the unnecessary two-year delay, the World Bank Economic Transformation Programme Performance for Results for Kaduna State closed as scheduled in 2021.

The Independent Verification Agent Report, issued by PwC in December 2021, confirmed that the El-Rufai Administration met all the targets for the Disbursement Linked Indicators. At completion, the World Bank rated the implementation as satisfactory. 10 i. In addition, the El-Rufai administration ensured that exchange gain revenues of N40bn from the World Bank loan flowed into the treasury of the Kaduna State Government between 2019 and 2022.

v. Exaggeration of loans and Attribution of Loans Not Disbursed The number of loans listed in the report as having been contracted and the amounts allegedly disbursed prior to May 2023 are exaggerated. Some loans were negotiated and agreed, as part of the aspirations for the progress and development of the State. However, disbursement of several of these loans listed in the Report (Pages 112-116) had not commenced by the time of the exit of the El-Rufai administration in May 2023. These include: a. RAAMP: A USD280m loan for the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).

b. SAPZ: A USD150m loan is alleged to have been received from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Kaduna Special Agro-Processing Zone (SAPZ). The El-Rufai government is justly proud of the planning and hard work its team did to ensure that Kaduna State made the first list of States selected for the SAPZs. However, AfDB had not commenced disbursement of the loan by May 2023. c. BRT: Contrary to the Report, it is the French Development Agency, not the African Development Bank, that provided the USD130,700,000 loan for the Kaduna Bus Rapid Transport System.

The El-Rufai government negotiated and signed this loan, 11 but not a cent was disbursed to the State before the administration’s exit. The Kaduna BRT project has been designed and its financing arranged and is only waiting to be actualised by any administration that understands the necessity to modernise mass transit in the State. d. LPRES: The USD20m loan for the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support (LPRES) Project was not disbursed prior to May 2023. e. ROOSC: Not a cent of the USD62.8m Reaching-Outof-School Children (ROOSC) project funds was disbursed prior to 29th May 2023.

vi. Misrepresenting partial disbursements as full The Report also listed some loans as fully disbursed when they were only partly disbursed during the El-Rufai Administration. These include: a. ACReSAL: Only USD2m was received by the Kaduna State Government for the Agro-Climatic Resilience Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) prior to May 2023, all of which was left intact for the successor government. Ascribing 494,600,000 XDR as the amount disbursed to the State, as the Report does, merely continues the pattern of patent falsehood.

b. AGILE: Only USD23.88m was received for AGILE as of May 2023, not the USD280m stated in the Report. As of December 2022, Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) had funded 12 major renovations in 110 schools and minor rehabilitation of 550 others. The initiative had also financed the accelerated implementation of life skills programme in 19 senior secondary schools. At the December 2022 Implementation Support Mission to States participating in AGILE, Kaduna was declared as the best State in two components: Renovations and Monitoring & Evaluation. The State also received an award as the most innovative in project implementation.

c. SURWASH: XDR352,855.00 was disbursed to the State in June 2023, after the exit of the El-Rufai administration, for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) programme. The Report falsely puts the disbursement as XDR494m. d. ANRiN: USD7.11m was disbursed to Kaduna State by May 2023, not USD16.86m cited in the Report, for the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project. The primary objective of this project is to increase the utilisation of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under two years across the 23 local government areas in the State.

The State partnered with contracted non-state actors in the nutrition sector to achieve the set targets of the project. A February 2023 memo from the Ministry of Health shows that Kaduna State received six national awards for is implementation of ANRiN, 13 including Most Innovative, Best Performing State – Partner Mapping and Coordination, Best Performing State -fiduciary, and Best Performing State – Safeguards. If the current administration has begun receiving disbursement from loans that were not drawn down prior to May 2023, it should take the honourable step of transparently disclosing such as well as the projects to which they have been applied and the state of completion of these projects.

V. Damau Milk Farm i. The N10.5bn loan for the Damau Milk Farm project was being properly expended on delivering the project until the current government of Kaduna State froze the project account, which had a balance of about N4.8bn, in June 2023. ii. The Damau project is one with far-reaching implications for national security that reflects the El-Rufai Administration’s decision to adopt a business-driven approach to modernise the livestock sector, improve security, and resolve violent farmer and herder clashes by sedentarising nomadic farmers.

The State Government chose to partner with Arla, a global dairy giant, in the project for which almost 10,000 hectares was earmarked, and 1000 beneficiaries identified from across six Local Governments in Kaduna State. iii. The division of responsibility entailed Kaduna State providing cattle, pasture, and housing for livestock farmers in a ranch that has schools, health facilities and other social amenities. Arla was to serve as off taker of the milk produced by the farmers settled in the ranch and contribute three milking parlours and three milk collection centres to KDSG’s farm. 14 In addition, the farmers who were to be taught modern husbandry skills at the Arla Demonstration Farm.

iv. Kaduna Markets, another State-owned enterprise whose specialty is in property development and facility management, was saddled with the establishment and take-off of the company. That was the point of the N10.5bn loan taken from the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme of the CBN, in partnership with UBA. v. Kaduna Markets was executing the project with oversight from CBN, UBA and KDSG until the dedicated project account was frozen by the current Kaduna State Government in June 2023. It is telling that Arla is investing over $150m and is already running the demonstration farm it built in Damau, while its partner State Government is demonising dedicated officials who worked hard on delivering its own part of the partnership.

The Ad-hoc Committee claims that 95% of the N10.5bn Damau loan was diverted. Yet, nowhere did the Report contradict the testimony of Tamar Nandul, the former MD of Kaduna Markets, that the project account had a balance of over N4.8bn as of June 2023 (Page 59). If this project is allowed to fail, responsibility cannot be ascribed to the El-Rufai Administration, given the clear record of the work its officials did to deliver it.

vi. The Ad-hoc Committee’s wilful blindness to recognise the massive foreign direct investment made by Arla in Damau because of the ElRufai administration’s decision to build this modern ranch is part of the pattern of ignoring facts while playing up their demonisation script. The script includes falsely accusing officials of the El-Rufai administration of diverting project funds that are currently in the possession of the Kaduna State Government. That is why the Ad-hoc Committee chose to stick with its predetermined conclusion in the face of clear facts 15 provided by former officials of Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company on the status of the project.

VI. Loans were within debt thresholds All loans incurred by the El-Rufai administration are within the approved debt thresholds. Even the debt sustainability report prepared by the current administration of the State in November 2023 attests to this. So much for loans and the Ad-hoc Committee’s wilful blindness to see or acknowledge the uses for which the loans were put to, and their futile attempt to saddle the El-Rufai Administration with loans that were not disbursed to the State during its tenure.

VII. N20bn Contractor Finance Facility The N20bn contractor financing facility was not a loan to the State Government but to the contractors. Under the agreement with the bank, the State Government bears the interest payment on the facility, which is a better option than applying the section of the Public Procurement Law that allows contractor to be paid with interest in the event of failure by the government to pay them within 30 days. The structure of the facility thus enabled contractors to get liquidity to progress delivery on projects and avoided previous experiences where government accounts were garnisheed due to outstanding payments. This facility was an administrative arrangement which does not require any resolution from the State House of Assembly.

VIII. Status of Contracts i. It is the choice of the current government to continue to execute inherited projects or to deny them of the resources required to completion, in which case it would bear the responsibility for stalling or abandoning them. Contractors who were in credit position with the Kaduna State Government, due to payments received on account, continued to actively progress their works for 16 months after the exit of the El-Rufai administration.

Between November 2023 and May 2024, many contractors gradually reduced their site activities to a skeletal scale or left their sites due to the failure of the new administration to meet its contractual obligations to them. Not only were payments suspended or stopped but other responsibilities of government in driving the projects were no longer being met. The current administration has abandoned some inherited projects and constrained contractors to demobilise from project sites, a scenario that could have been avoided. To declare a project abandoned when you are no longer funding it can only be an accurate statement if you say that as the client, you have decided to abandon it.

XI. Deloitte Report i. The El-Rufai Administration, in its quest for transparency and accountability, commissioned Deloitte to conduct a forensic audit of State Government accounts from 1999 to 2019, the end of its own first term. The Deloitte forensic report was intended to serve as the primary basis for internal corrective measures and to identify any wrongdoing within the government. As is standard practise, the Deloitte audit report was meant to be subject to substantiation and validation. ii. Deloitte undertook the assignment in two phases: a. Phase I covered June 2007 to May 2015, focusing on government revenue, payroll, loans, capital expenditure, counterpart funds and others. b. Phase II included periods from May 1999 to June 2007 and June 2015 to May 2019.

Additionally, it reviewed Local Government JAAC Accounts from 1999 to May 2019. 17 iii. It is this same report that the Ad-hoc Committee copied verbatim as a finding. It lifted directly from Deloitte all its supposed findings regarding the Ministry of Finance for the period from May 2015 to May 2023. iv. The Ad-hoc Committee’s use of unvalidated Deloitte findings introduces bias and undermines the credibility of their Report. The report fails to cover the financial activities from 2019 to 2023, further indicating a lack of comprehensive review.

The Report did not undertake an in-depth and logical review of the administration’s financial records. It chose to rely on yet-to-be-validated findings from Deloitte, indicating a superficial approach to the investigation. v. In December 2021, the El-Rufai administration established a committee to validate the Deloitte Report, review its queries and recommend further action by the State Government on the forensic audit. The committee raised queries that were forwarded to Deloitte for their response, which was still being awaited as of 29th May 2023 when the El-Rufai administration exited.

X. Kaduna Skipper Power Project a. The Kaduna Skipper Power Project was created to deliver the vision of the El-Rufai administration to build an 84MW thermal power plant, located next door to the FG-owned 215MW Kudenda power plant, in a joint venture with Skipper. b. Despite the steps already taken to actualise the project, including the arrival of the two gas turbines, the current Kaduna State Government (KDSG) informed the technical partners of its decision to exit the joint venture at a meeting with the board of Skipper in Dubai on 29th November 2023. Thus, it appears that on this matter there is a 18 dissonance between the executive branch and the legislators that it procured into this futile exercise.

c. We are aware that Skipper has formally communicated a proposal to buy out KDSG stakes in the project and proposed terms for repaying KDSG’s equity contribution of N1bn and dealing with the N7.5bn CBN loan for the project. d. The El-Rufai administration worked with some State Governments and the Federal Government to secure passage of the Electricity Act. It can only be a tragedy that a big subnational like Kaduna State is withdrawing from its own power project a time when the decentralisation of the Nigerian electricity industry is being given more attention.

XI. Anchor Borrowers’ Programme There is a loud silence in the Report about the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme in which Kaduna State was perhaps the State with the largest quantum of borrowing. Who are the beneficiaries? Why is the House of Assembly neither interested in nor curious about it? When Ibrahim Husaini, a former Commissioner of Agriculture, testified on 7th May 2024, he was questioned about the Anchor Borrowers Programme, and he submitted an affidavit to the House of Assembly. Curiously, his name does not appear on the list of witnesses and his testimony is omitted in the Report. Did his testimony contain certain inconvenient facts that the Ad-hoc Committee chose to steer clear?

XII. Observed conflicts of interest We have previously noted that the House of Assembly took no care to avoid bias and conflicts of interest. Some of its members partook in “investigating” government agencies with which they are having or have had business dealings 19 or tax related issues, or in adopting recommendations on the same. Let’s give two examples: i. Hon. Dahiru Liman Yusuf, the Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, was investigated by the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) which froze some of his personal accounts for having billions in untaxed and unexplained income.

He is also involved in a public-private partnership with Kaduna Markets to develop a Neighbourhood Centre over which he has had differences with the management of Kaduna Markets. Despite these obvious conflicts he presided at the House of Assembly session that adopted the Ad-hoc Committee’s recommendation that the former chairman of KADIRS and the former Managing Director of Kaduna Markets be referred for further investigation. ii. Hon. Barr. Mahmud Lawal Isma’ila, a member of the Ad-hoc Committee (listed as Number 5 on Pg. 3 of the Report) who has proved to be very vocal in condemning Governor Nasir El-Rufai is also a biological brother of Governor Uba Sani.

Conclusion We have once again drawn attention to the glaring evidence of the hatchet job that passes for the Report and the Ad-hoc Committee. It oozes malice and patent unfairness and raises the question why a House of Assembly that arranged extensive media coverage of its adoption of the Report has refused to provide certified true copies of the same Report more than a month after. It cannot be a reasonable assumption on their part that we will meekly accept this breach of fundamental rights or cower in the face of this premeditated assault on our reputations.

Names of former commissioners who signed the statement are listed below

20 Signed, 9th July 2024, on behalf of the members of the Kaduna State Executive Council (2015 to 2023). Jafaru Sani Former Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education Hafsat Baba Former Commissioner, Ministry of Human Services & Social Development Thomas Gyang Former Commissioner, Public Works & Infrastructure, Planning & Budget Commission Bashir Saidu Former Commissioner, Ministry of Finance; Former Chief of Staff Ibrahim Husaini Former Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment Aisha Dikko Former Commissioner, Ministry of Justice Fausat Ibikunle Former Commissioner, Ministry of Housing & Urban Development Idris Nyam Former Commissioner, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Technology, Ministry of Sports Development

 

 

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