Former Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. 

By George Daniya

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) to investigate the allegation made by his immediate predecessor, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the present administration received and embezzled $181m from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which is meant for the dualization of Minna-Bida Road.

Governor Bello made the call during the flag-off of 2019 local government council election campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, recently.

He said that the allegation was embarrassing that such a statement was coming from such a personality of the party.

“Our government is not out to get anybody, we have been accused of laundering the money in question. We therefore maintain our stand that the loan was not reflected in any account we know of.

“If it is stated, we call on the past administration to tell us which account it was deposited into because working with the notes that was passed onto us, we are in dark with regards to any such payments”, he said.

The governor said that Nigerlites need to know the true position of the IDB loan and thus the reason he wanted the EFCC to investigate the said allegation that his administration has received the money.

Gov Bello said that the IDB is still in existence and the truth cannot be hidden and it was not a big deal to know if they have received the said money, adding after the investigation about the money he would take further action since lies and deceit has been introduced into the issue.

“The last administration started the process and they appointed a consultant to design the road and whatever for the road. But however before they left they couldn’t pay the consultant”, he said.

He added that when they came in, believing that government was a continuous process took over and paid the consultant and followed up the process with Debt Management Office, Ministry of Finance, National Assembly and State Assembly.

According to him, the national and state assemblies approved the money towards the end of last term, adding that the IDB is still expecting from them the “Environmental Impact Assessment” which they were still working to be submitted before the bank would sit and even discuss Niger State.

The governor insisted that since the money issue had been brought up and they have been accused, his administration will follow the matter to the latter and ensure that they get to the bottom of the allegation.

He said that the previous administration were enmeshed in projects contract abandonment saga which included the embezzlements of N1.4b meant for the construction Minna Modern Stadium in the name of borrow, the 7.5 per cent contributory pension under previous government was a scam used to embezzle workers money up to tune of N6b which to date it has not been found.

The governor further added that the sum of over N3b for ward development was also embezzled, adding that the 5-Star saga is shameful that was not good to be heard.

He maintained that this administration is a responsible government and was doing her best to rectify the rot they met due to excesses of the previous government.