El-Rufai: Audited Accounts Show No N423bn Fraud – Aides

Former commissioners of Kaduna State under Nasir El-Rufai’s administration have provided additional evidence to discredit the report of the state assembly investigative committee, which accused the administration of official corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, eight former commissioners from the El-Rufai administration rejected the assembly’s allegations.

The commissioners who addressed the media were Jafaru Sani (Ministry of Environment and Education), Hafsat Baba (Ministry of Human Services and Social Development), Thomas Gyang (Public Works and Infrastructure, Planning and Budget Commission), Bashir Saidu (Ministry of Finance), Ibrahim Husaini (Ministry of Agriculture and Environment), Aisha Dikko (Ministry of Justice), Fausat Ibikunle (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development), and Idris Nyam (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology).

They described the assembly’s indictment as a baseless smear campaign, asserting that the report relied on exaggerated and fabricated figures to paint a false picture of corruption and mismanagement.

“The avalanche of figures seems only to have mesmerised the legislators who cite one amount here, and then something different on exactly the same figure,” the commissioners told journalists at the press conference.

The ex-cabinet members accused the lawmakers of fabricating figures related to the receipt and administration of state funds to deliberately malign their characters. According to them, the auditor-general certified the state’s audited accounts from 2015-2022 and submitted them to the State House of Assembly, along with unaudited accounts up to May 29, 2023.

According to them, the total funds receipts to the Nasir El-Rufai administration from May 2015 to May 2023 amounted to N1.2 trillion. Total expenditure for the same period was N1.32 trillion, resulting in a budget deficit of N16.95 billion over the eight years. N838.961 billion was spent on capital projects, while public debt charges amounted to N7.81 billion during the administration.

They faulted the assembly members, which put the total financial inflows to the state and local government areas at N1.236 trillion. “If the committee’s total of inflows above are correct, it means only N266bn was available to the State Government for all capital projects over eight years,” the commissioners said at the press conference.

“If the assembly committee’s total inflows are correct, only N266 billion was available to the state government for all capital projects over eight years.” They argued that the development in Kaduna metropolis alone exceeds N266 billion, adding if that were the case, they would have queried how and where the investigative committee had come up with the allegation of N423 billion. “This allegation, on Page 169, is falsehood in aid of legislative defamation,” they stated.

Sani claimed the budget deficits over the eight years of the El-Rufai administration were financed using foreign and domestic loans and grants-in-aid.

He said the report begs the question as to where the ad-hoc committee obtained its figures for revenue, loans, and other findings separate from the published accounts of the Kaduna State Government that were tabled before the House of Assembly at the time.

“We have once again drawn attention to the glaring evidence of the hatchet job that passes for the Report and the Ad-hoc Committee. It oozes malice and patent unfairness and raises the question why a House of Assembly that arranged extensive media coverage of its adoption of the Report has refused to provide certified true copies of the same Report more than a month after. It cannot be a reasonable assumption on their part that we will meekly accept this breach of fundamental rights or cower in the face of this deliberate assault on our reputations,” all of them said in a signed document provided to the media yesterday.

 

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