It has been uncovered how the Zamfara State government under outgoing Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle allegedly made huge suspicious payments to contractors for abandoned or partially executed projects located in various local government areas (LGAs) of the state.
Many of the shady projects across the 14 local government areas of the state, were awarded, and funds withdrawn and disbursed almost 100 percent, yet are either abandoned or not near midway of the execution stage.
The incoming government of Governor-elect Dauda Lawal will have a very tough decision to take, especially going after the people behind the firms awarded and paid for shady contracts by the outgoing government.
Among such projects initiated by the Bello Matawalle led-government is the construction and furnishing of the Governor’s Lodge in each local government area headquarters which has gulped billions of naira without commensurate results to show for it.
The claims by officials that the Governor’s lodges in question have been fully constructed and well-furnished have no bearing whatsoever with the reality on ground. Findings through visits to the locations of the said projects have revealed the names of the contractors that received the payments from the Zamfara State government for their implementation.
The amount earmarked and released for each local government differs, and the projects were shared among different contractors for execution. The irony is the disbursement of full payment in some cases and over 90% payment to some contractors without completion of the projects. Some of the projects were abandoned halfway in some local governments.
One of the contractors named H3D International Concepts was paid the sum of two billion, one hundred and seventy-one million, three hundred and three thousand Naira, seven hundred and eighty one naira fifty kobo (N2, 171, 303, 781.50) as a consultancy service in respect of 147 dispensaries in the 14 Governor’s lodges across the state.
In another breadth, the Zamfara State government released the staggering sum of One billion, five hundred and twenty-six million naira (N1, 526, 000, 000) to a contractor, Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited to furnish the yet-to-be-completed Governor’s lodge across the 14 local government areas.
In Maradun, Governor Matawalle’s local government, the sum of One hundred and eighteen million, two hundred and eighty one thousand, one hundred and fifty naira (N118, 281, 150.00) was released to Zannah Kachalla World Link as a complete payment for the construction of the Governor’s lodge. The full payment was made from the State Treasury despite the project being less than 70% completed.
In Anka local government area, the outgoing Governor similarly approved the sum of One hundred and eighteen million, two hundred and eighty one thousand, one hundred and fifty naira (N118, 281, 150.00) for the construction of the Governor’s lodge in the local government. Out of this, One hundred and two million, three hundred and three thousand, one hundred and ninety four naira, seventy five kobo (N102, 313, 194.75) was released to the contractor, ERMANO Global Enterprise, leaving a paltry balance of Fifteen Million, nine hundred and sixty seven thousand, nine hundred and fifty five naira, twenty five kobo (N15, 967, 955.25).
This represents over 80% payment to the contractor whereas verifiable work on site of the Governor’s lodge in Anka LGA stands at about 50% completion not to contemplate furnishing the building.
The contract to construct the Governor’s Lodge in Kauran Namoda and Zurmi local government areas were awarded to SWAT Aga Constructions Nigeria Limited at the sum of Two hundred and thirty six million, five hundred and sixty two thousand, three hundred naira (N236, 562, 300.00) out of which the sum of Two hundred and thirty million, six hundred and forty eight thousand, two hundred and forty naira forty kobo (N230, 648, 242.40) was released to the contractor.
The outstanding payment to be released to the contractor is the sum of N5, 914, 057.00. Yet, the pictures from the project site in both local government areas show nothing near the final stage of execution despite over 90% disbursement of funds.
The same company Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited, who received over one billion payments meant for the contract to furnish the yet-to-be-completed Governor’s Lodge, was awarded another contract to construct four Governor’s Lodge Bungudu, Bakura, Talatar Mafara and Maru local government areas at the sum of N473,124,600.00. The sum of N461,296,485.50 was paid to Bes Belmon Nigeria Limited for the work. The total outstanding payment is N11, 828, 114.50. The projects in these four local government areas were abandoned when filing this report.
The outgoing government awarded the contract to construct Governor’s Lodge in Shinkafi local government to one A.G Almajir multi-dynamic LTD at the sum of N118, 281, 150.00. The sum of N115, 324, 121.25 was released to the contractor for the work. The outstanding to be paid is N2, 957, 028.75. Yet, the project has been on hold despite releasing over 90% of the funds meant for it.
C.G.G.C Engineering Limited was awarded the contract to construct a Governor’s Lodge in Gummi local government. The total amount for the completion of the construction is N118, 281, 150.00 and the sum of N114, 732, 715.50 was released to the company as payment for the project with the outstanding of N3, 548, 434.50. The progress of the Governor’s Lodge project in Gummi has not reached up to 80% completion and has been abandoned yet. Over 80% payment has been made.
De Ludo Store LTD was awarded a contract for the total sum of N118, 281, 150.00 to construct the Governor’s Lodge in the Birnin Magaji local government area. The sum of N94, 624, 920.00 has been withdrawn from Zamfara State Treasury and equally released to the contractor. The outstanding payment is N23, 656, 230. 00 yet the project is abandoned halfway.
In a similar vein, Governor Matawalle has awarded a contract of a total sum of N236, 562, 300.00 to the name ‘Ruwan Dorawa’ for the construction of the Governor’s Lodge in the Bakura local government area. The sum of N167, 774, 654.73 has been released to the contractor. The remaining balance is N68, 787, 645.27. The project in Bakura is not up to 50% done and has been abandoned.
Danguruf Pharmaceutical Limited was awarded a contract for a total sum of N59, 141, 575. 00 to construct Governor’s Lodge in Bukkuyum local government area. The sum of N35, 608, 185.13 was withdrawn from the State treasury and released to the contractor. The outstanding for the project is N23, 533, 389.87 despite the fact that the project is yet to meaningfully get off the ground.
Several calls and messages sent to two of the outgoing Governor’s media aides, Ibrahim Zauma the Director-General New Media and Zailani Bappa, the Governor’s spokesman for their responses to the allegations were not responded to as at the time of publication of this article.
**Muhammadu Abubakar Maradun wrote from Gusau