Kaduna Assembly Sets Up 13-member C’ttee to Probe El-Rufai’s Administration

John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Kaduna State House of Assembly yesterday set up a 13-member fact-finding committee to investigate financial transactions, loans, grants and project executions under the eight-year administration of former governor Nasir el-Rufai. El-Rufai was governor of Kaduna state between 2015 and 2023.

The committee was set up during a special session of the House, presided over by the speaker, Hon. Yusuf Liman.

Hon. Yusuf Mugu, representing the Kaura constituency, moved the motion on  matters of public importance, asking the House to investigate the loans borrowed by the former governor, stressing that it was important  for the people of the state to know how the loans  were used.

“There have been uncompleted comments and assassinations of character on the leadership of the state, which the assembly cannot sit and watch. That is why I came up with this motion that the Speaker constitute a committee to investigate the allegations and negative comments on them.

“This is the only way the state can rekindle its confidence in its development partners, collaborators, and also those who give us loans and grants. Failure  to do this will push the indicators of the state to a situation whereby nobody will want to do business with us,” he said.

Also in his contribution,  Yusuf Zailani, the immediate former speaker of the house, alleged that he denied approval of some of the loans, but el-Rufai still found his way.

“I suffered a lot in order not to give approval for the loan to be collected ($350m World Bank loan), even the then Deputy Speaker, Isaac Zankhai, was against me because I disagreed with the loan to be collected. I told the then governor to look at the number of loans we had at hand, and he didn’t listen to me”, Zailani said.

The House resolved to invite the Speakers of the 8th and 9th Assemblies and all other relevant stakeholders and agencies to answer questions regarding the issues at stake.

The lawmakers also requested a copy of the handover notes to Governor Uba Sani  so as to  guide the committee on the financial status of the state.

Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after plenary, Chairman, House Committee on Information, Henry Zachariah, said the house was not out to witch-hunt anybody but to get the facts correct.

“We are not having any problems with the loans collected. If all that the loans were intended to achieve, we will not be here”, he said.

Zachariah added: “We cannot have projects littering everywhere with people finding it difficult to drive to their houses because of the uncompleted roads. If we cannot pay salaries, where are we going to get money to complete those roads where monies were borrowed to do? This is just simple logic.

“We are not accusing anybody. What we are saying is that before you collect a loan, you will tell them what you want to use the loan for. You cannot collect that loan and then the job is not done and people keep quiet…”

He said the committee will invite all  relevant people to answer questions. He warned that anyone who refuses to honour the invitation of the committee,  the instrumentality of the law to will be used on him.

“If you don’t come we will use our laws to get you here to explain to the people what happened.

“Truly speaking, I can’t imagine over N61 billion coming to Kaduna state and we are still this poor. If they had spent the money in this state, I can bet you, we will not be this poor”, he said.

On March 30,  Sani, governor of Kaduna, said his administration inherited a debt of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the el-Rufai administration.

Speaking during a town hall meeting, Sani also said he had not borrowed “a kobo in the last nine months”.

He, however, said the huge debt burden is eating deep into the state’s share of the monthly federation allocation.

Last week, Sani also lamented that 34 General Hospitals in the state had not been renovated in the past 20 years, a situation, which according to him, had forced people to be travelling to other places to seek medical treatment.

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