Revealed: How, Bauchi Governor Collected N4 Billion Loan Without State Executive Council And House of Assembly Approval
- Group Accuses The Governor of Making a Trip To The Czech Republic Without No Meaningful Impact on The State.
- Governor’s Statement That President Buhari’s Bailout is a Mirage, we condemn in Totality-Group
A group the National Congress of Democrats has petitioned the Speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly requesting for information regarding the N4 billion loan collected by the Bauchi State Governor, as well as his recent travel to the Czechoslovakia.
In a petition signed by Alhaji Abubakar Dogon Yaro Bibi and Yakubu Alhaji Jibrin the organisation’s Chairman and Investigative Secretary respectively stated in the petition dated 26th August , 2015 with the title; “Request for Detailed and Accurate information Pertaining to Some issues adversely affecting the Economic Growth of Bauchi as a corporate entity, the group stated listed two main issues which they needed the House of Assembly to respond.
According to the group, the first issue is the case of Appraisal of an N4 Billion loan offered by UBA, according to the petitioners they stated thus, “It is a notorious fact that the sum of N4 billion was granted to the Bauchi State Government at her instance for purpose of addressing urgent financial obligation confronting the State.”
“The grant of the said loan was alleged to have enjoyed the approval of both the Executive council of the State and members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, even when it is an indubitable fact that the State Executive Council of Bauchi State has not been constituted till date,” the petitioners stated.
Writing further it stated thus; “in respect to the issue above we request for the following under listed pieces of information; information relating to the comprehensive list of those urgent financial obligations addressed with the N4 billion loan in Bauchi; also information relating to the various area in Bauchi where those financial obligations arose, and how they were addressed.
Also, information relating to evidence of approval of obtaining the loan by the Bauchi State Government by the Executive Council of the State and the State House of Assembly.”
Moreover, the petition also requested that the issue of the trip of the Governor to the Czech Republic for an Official Engagement.
According to the group it said; “it is an established fact that His Excellency, Governor of Bauchi State, in the person of Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar travelled to Czech Republic for what was termed an “official engagement” and sequel to this His Excellency’s travel to the Czech Republic, the various sum of money hereunder outlined was expended from the drained account of the Bauchi State Government.”
Details of the expenses incurred from the trip as stated by the petition showed that Estacode and Contingency gulped a total of $57,000,000, while Air ticket for the Journey gulped a total of N7, 138, and 120.000.
In the light of the above, the group requested the following information; “that information relating to whether the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar obtained the approval of the Bauchi State House of Assembly for the trip.
“Information relating whether His Excellency, Governor of Bauchi, issued a letter to the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, to act on his behalf during the period the Governor travelled to the Czech Republic and if the Governor did issue such a letter, a copy of the letter released.
It also requested the information relating to the beneficial effect of such a trip by the Executive Governor of Bauchi State to the Czech Republic on the people of Bauchi State.”
Moreso, it also requested information relating to evidence of approval of such a trip, by the Executive Governor Bauchi, to Czech Republic as well as information relating to the nature of the official engagement that necessitated such a trip the expenditure of such a huge amount of money from a drained account of a State like Bauchi State.”
From the documents saw by universalreporters247.com with reference number DMA/FIN/S/007/V.I addressed to the Governor stating thus; Your Excellency, Thru: PS/MoF, dated 11 06, 2015, for the Appraisal of loan, shows that the terms of the loan among other things include Collateral as Domiciliation of FAAC Account, Repayment to be from FAAC Statutory Allocations as well having approval from the Executive Council and House of Assembly Resolution.
One of the prayers of the memo shows that it needs the obtaining of an Executive Council Approval and House of Assembly Resolution.
Curiously, as seen by this medium from the documents, the loan appraisal prayers was approved as there were remarks in the letter saying that notification will be obtained after the constitution of Executive council.
This medium gathered that the 8th Assembly of Bauchi State was inaugurated on the 15th of June, 2015 about 10 days after the loan was said to have been approved and passed House of Assembly Resolutions.
Also in the documents for the approval of the his Czech Trip this medium also found out that among all the people that travelled with the Governor, there were no person from the State Ministry of Agriculture or its subsidiaries that went to trip with him.
However, this medium learnt that there has been series of misgivings by the governor since assuming office as the Chief Executive of the State.
For instance just a few days in a report published by Daily Trust the Governor was quoted to have said that the Federal Government bailout is a mirage. According to the report by Daily Trust, it stated thus; “Bauchi State Governor Barrister Mohammed Abubakar yesterday described the financial bailout for states by the federal government as a mirage. Abubakar spoke during a visit to Daily Trust headquarters in Abuja.
The Bauchi State governor said up till now, he was yet to get the bailout for his state from the designated bank.
“Bailout has turned out to be a mirage, actually. I am not criticizing the federal government, they meant well, they had a good intention to do a bailout, but they realized that they too needed a bailout. They just don’t have the money to do a bailout.
“So, after all the talks, all the grammar and everything, I was a member of the committee of four that discussed with the governor of the Central Bank after the last but one FEC meeting in respect of this bailout. All the promises did not materialise, at the end of it all, we were asked to nominate banks. And when we nominated the banks, we thought money was going to be paid into the accounts in the banks but at the end of the day, letters were written by the Central Bank to the banks to avail us with soft loans as a bailout.”
He said he was able to settle most of the outstanding salaries with the help of some civil servants.
“When I came in…they (civil servants) came to me and said ‘sir, we have hidden some accounts from the last government because we saw them going crazy spending everything’. Through that… I saved money as I went along, the first federal allocation, I saved some money out of it and right now, I am doing some little savings. You will be surprised that in a situation of very serious lack, I am still saving,
I have an account, I have opened an account separate from where the government account is and I saved some money. Through that kind of measure, I was able make up one month salary and I paid it before Sallah.
“When that was done, there was some bit of relief and then immediately after, we went for a meeting and we were able to get some money from the Federation Account and I dedicated the entire money into paying another month’s salaries.
“Then along the way came the LNG money, it wasn’t a bailout! It wasn’t a bailout! LNG monies are monies that belong to the federation but in the past, the federal government was cornering it.
“So, when the new government came in, they now got a full disclosure from the NNPC that we have this $2.1 billion to be shared and it was shared and I then devoted the entire money. You have read some allegations about some states that used it to buy some other things but I used the entire amount I got into paying salaries.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released a statement on the regarding the bailout as it said it is only two states that have met the requirements for the collection of the bailout.
The CBN in a statement on Wednesday stated that, only Kwara and Zamfara states have so far met the requirements.
The statement said the CBN has approved the request by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to provide financial accommodation to state governments to enable them pay the backlog of salaries of their workers.
“This is sequel to the decision by the National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting of 29th June, 2015, requesting the Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to appraise and consider ways of liquidating the outstanding staff salaries owed by state and local governments,” the CBN said.
The conditions for accessing the loan facility include resolutions of the State Executive Council authorising the borrowing and State House of Assembly consenting to the loan package; as well as issuance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to ensure timely repayment.
Meanwhile, a Bauchi group has condemned the Governor’s statement saying the President’s bailout is a mirage. According to the group, Bauchi APC Support Group, BASARGO, in a statement released by them stated that, it has read with dismay the statement credited to the Governor of Bauchi State, that the bailout given by the Federal Government to States that could not pay worker’s Salaries is a mirage.
In the statement signed by Suleiman Shehu and Usman Abdullahi chairman and Secretary respectively of the group stated thus; “It would be recalled that in July, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari, in an unprecedented show of magnanimity, has approved a comprehensive relief package to the States that could not pay workers’ salaries to help them assuage the plight of thousands of Nigerian workers in the States. The President directed the urgent release of funds for that purpose.”
Similarly, by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari has confirmed this presidential palliative in a report in The Sun Newspaper of July 30, 2015, the group said.
Condemning the statement by the Group, it stated thus; we are therefore baffled by the Bauchi governor’s denial that the entire bailout us a mirage, we see this denial as an affront on the Presidency and the NGF, and a crude insensitivity to the plight of Bauchi State Workers who have been grappling with fundamental difficulties due to the non-payment as at when due despite the federal government palliative given in their names. Is the governor up to some mischief? Or is he trying to blackmail the presidency?
Finally, we condemn this grandstanding and urge the governor always update himself before going to press on such issues that are already a common knowledge.”