ADVERTISEMENT

Matawalle spent billions to furnish uncompleted governor's lodges - Zamfara govt

The state government said the former governor allegedly connived with some contractors in violating established public service rules.

Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state [Legit]

The state government said Matawalle approved 100% payment of over N1bn for fencing, landscaping, and furnishing of governor's lodges in the LGAs even before the project began.

In a statement issued in Gusau on Sunday, October 29, 2023, the spokesperson of the Zamfara Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, said it released some documents that exposed "a series of violations of public service rules by the previous government of Matawalle."

According to Idris, the administration of the current Governor of the state, Dauda Lawal, is raising public awareness on alleged financial recklessness of his predecessor.

ADVERTISEMENT

The statement read in part, "It is against the public service rules to make full payment for a project that has not yet commenced; there are processes and guidelines which were intentionally not adhered to. We must hold accountable those who award and pay for suspicious contracts and recover what rightfully belongs to the people of Zamfara.

"Among such projects initiated by the past government of Bello Matawalle is the construction, fencing, landscaping, furnishing, and external electrification for the Governor's Lodge in each Local Government Area.

"It is important to note that the amount of funds allocated and disbursed for the construction of each lodge varied, and different contractors were assigned to execute the projects. However, it is ironic that some contractors received full payment before the project even began, while the majority received over 90% payment.

On the content of the documents, Idris said Matawalle during his administration allegedly approved the payment of ₦1,966,035,160.00 to a contractor, BES BELMOND in 2021 and how he paid other contractors 100% upfront for the projects that had not yet started.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The released documents reveal how Bello Matawalle authorised the payment of ₦1,966,035,160.00 to BES BELMON Nigeria Limited on the 27th of December 2021 for the fencing, landscaping, furnishing, and external electrification of the Governor's Lodge, which is still under construction across the 14 Local Governments Areas.

"Contractors were paid 100% upfront in Kauran Namoda, Zurmi, Bakura, Maradun, Bukkuyum, Bungudu, and Gummi before the projects started.

"The past administration of Bello Matawalle on the 30th of April 2020 has made a total payment of ₦ 324,410,211.00 to SWAT AGA Construction Limited for the construction of the Governor's lodge in Kaura Namoda. The payment was disbursed from the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and a payment voucher carrying the date and details has been released."

"Furthermore, we present more vouchers exposing total payments of another ₦324,410,211.00 on the 30th of April 2020 to SWAT AGA for constructing a Governor's lodge in Zurmi Local Government Area," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Idris said that the former governor allegedly connived with BES BELMON in violating established public service rules, adding that the Zamfara State Government would expose the "financial banditry and malpractices committed by the previous administration in the interest of transparency."

He said, "It is disheartening to uncover how the same BES BELMON Nig. Limited that was paid 100% for furnishing a yet-to-be-constructed 14 lodges received ₦323,492,050. 00 on the 30th of April 2020 to construct a Governor's Lodge in Bakura Local Government Area; also, another full payment of ₦323,492,050.00 on the same 30th of April 2020 to build a Governor's lodge in Maradun Local Government Area.

"The public should take note of BES BELMON Nig. Limited and its apparent connivance in violation of established public service rules. Bello Matawalle approved another payment of ₦323,492,050.00 on the 30th of April 2020 to BES BELMON to construct the Governor's Lodge in Bukkuyum Local Government Area. The intriguing question is, who owns this firm?

"Moreover, on the 30th of April 2020, Bello Mohammed Matawalle approved yet another 100% payment of ₦323,492,050.00 to BES BELMON to construct the Governor's Lodge in Bungudu Local Government Area."

While calling on the contractor to return the sum of ₦1,966,035,160.00 that was illegally and criminally withdrawn from the state's treasury to the State Government, Idris maintained that the current administration would rescue and rebuild the state.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, efforts to reach Matawalle for his reaction to the allegations against him were unsuccessful as his phone line was not reachable.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

It’s time to equip Nigerian youths for nation-building - Reps Committee says

It’s time to equip Nigerian youths for nation-building - Reps Committee says

Tinubu, governors, lawmakers in Ondo to pay last respect to Akeredolu

Tinubu, governors, lawmakers in Ondo to pay last respect to Akeredolu

Don't resell – Why Customs is selling 25kg bags of rice for 10k to citizens

Don't resell – Why Customs is selling 25kg bags of rice for 10k to citizens

NAFDAC, PCN seal 1,321 medicine stores in Kano for operating illegally

NAFDAC, PCN seal 1,321 medicine stores in Kano for operating illegally

CJN to swear in new Supreme Court justices on Monday

CJN to swear in new Supreme Court justices on Monday

'Garri is no longer a snack but a main meal,' hungry Nigerians lament about economy

'Garri is no longer a snack but a main meal,' hungry Nigerians lament about economy

INEC releases 526-page report of 2023 elections for Nigerians to read

INEC releases 526-page report of 2023 elections for Nigerians to read

Sen Okpebholo emerges APC candidate for Edo governorship election

Sen Okpebholo emerges APC candidate for Edo governorship election

Mixed reactions as Nigerian Customs sells bags of rice for ₦10k + NIN in Lagos

Mixed reactions as Nigerian Customs sells bags of rice for ₦10k + NIN in Lagos

Pulse Sports

Ancelotti plans for Kylian Mbappe revealed

Ancelotti plans for Kylian Mbappe revealed

No Osimhen? Give us Boniface — Chelsea desperate to tap into Super Eagles' striker pool

No Osimhen? Give us Boniface — Chelsea desperate to tap into Super Eagles' striker pool

Manchester United's Hojlund Beats Ex-Arsenal Star to Set New Premier League Record

Manchester United's Hojlund Beats Ex-Arsenal Star to Set New Premier League Record

‘He’s not like Barca players’ — Peseiro on Super Eagles star Victor Osimhen

‘He’s not like Barca players’ — Peseiro on Super Eagles star Victor Osimhen

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT