- Invites EFCC, others to recover looted funds
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Bauchi State Government said Saturday that the administrations of former Governors Isa Yuguda and Mohammed Abubakar could not account for N258 billion. It said the two administrations received a total of N720 billion from the Federation Account between 2007 and 2019.
Yuguda served as governor of the state between 2007 and 2015, while Abubakar spent four years in office.
The state government has, following the development, contacted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into the books of the state within the period under review.
Addressing the press in Abuja, the Commissioner for Information, Ladan Salihu, said the N258 billion consisted of loans, grants, uncompleted contracts and other revenues that accrued to the state but could not be properly utilised or accounted for. Salihu said the discoveries were based on the findings of the Assets Recovery Committee set up by the incumbent, Governor Bala Mohammed, on assumption of office. Mohammed had promised to recover all looted funds and assets of the state government.
Ladan said the committee discovered that under Yuguda, “A total of N135, 145,096,050.84 commercial loans were taken. Out of this amount, N100, 961,539,849.33 were loans taken without the authorisation of Bauchi State House of Assembly, as required by the extant law. The balance of N34, 183,556,201.51 represents the loans which followed due process of law.”
Citing the committee’s report, the commissioner said “a total of N564, 851,151,690.05 had accrued to Bauchi State between May 2007 and May 2015. Over N200, 000,000,000.00 of this funds, this committee discovered, was mismanaged or outrightly stolen under the administration of former Governor Isah Yuguda.
“Similarly, the committee discovered that a total of N881, 464,360.73 was interest charge on the unauthorised loans.”
Ladan said the administration of Abubakar received a total of N321, 460,759,830.34 from the Federation Account and incurred a loan of N58 billion to the state.
He stated, “According to the submission by Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Bauchi State received a total of N321, 460,759,830.34 as Statutory Allocation between May 2015 and May 2019.
“The committee discovered that a total of N58, 602,385,544.00 loans were taken between May 2015 and May 2019.
“According to the submission by the Office of the Accountant General of Bauchi State, a bailout facility of N8,609,100,000.00; N5,968,400,090.00; N700,000,000.00 in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively, totalling N15,282,400,000.00 were released to the Bauchi State Government.”
On Paris Club refunds, the commissioner said a total sum of N47, 314,330,501.72 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were received by the administration of Abubakar, according to submissions by the Office of the Accountant General of Bauchi State.
Ladan alleged, “The government was an orchestra of wholesale and retail corruption. It is the most pathologically corrupt government in the history of Bauchi State.
“Let all the investigating agencies come down to Bauchi, we will open the books further so that they can help us recover our stolen funds.”