*N2.5bn deductions/taxes siphoned
By, MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A total sum of N471, 073, 975, 966 .06 accrued to the coffers of the Bauchi state government between May 2015 and May 2019 under the leadership of former governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar.
The accrued monies, according to the state funds and assets recovery committee, included statutory allocation of N321, 460, 759, 830 .34 and Bank loans amounting to N58, 602, 385, 544 during the period under review.
The Committee’s spokesman, Umar Barau Ningi gave other accrued monies to the coffers of the state as N8, 609, 100, 000; N5, 968, 400, 090 and N700, 000, 000 as bailout loans facility in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively, totaling N15, 282, 400, 000 released to the state government under the Abubakar administration.
Alhaji Umar Ningi, also a member of the committee told a press conference in Bauchi that the state similarly under the immediate past governor received the sum of N47, 314, 330, 501 .72 as Paris Club refund, according to submission by the Office of the State Accountant General.
“Bauchi also received the sum of N10, 000, 000, 000 as Excess Crude Account Loan Facility, as well as the discrepancy figures under the Budget Support Facility as N17, 569, 000, 000 and N12, 125, 000, 000 by the Office Of the Accountant General of the Federation and Office of the Accountant General of Bauchi State/Bauchi Debt Management Agency respectively”, Ningi said.
Alhaji Umar Ningi also disclosed that about N1.4 billion was out rightly stolen from the state coffers between October 2016 and May 2018, and unremitted taxes amounting to over N705 million was uncovered to have been carted away by some greedy officers at the State Treasury.
“Furthermore, there were deductions in the name of civil servants in Bauchi state for National Housing Fund supposed to be paid to the Federal Mortgage Bank, but diverted to private pockets, amounting to N350 million”, Ningi also revealed.
He said, “Under these direct withdrawals and theft we have a total of about N2.5 billion. The culprits have been identified and efforts have reached advanced state to retrieve the amount, and appropriately prosecuted”.
Ningi further revealed of uncovered N418, 425, 000 fictitious contract awarded at the eve of the 2019 elections, on December 31st, 2018 by Bauchi state Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for the supply of agro-allied chemicals for fumigation in primary schools in the 20 LGAs of the state.
The committee spokesman said however that the supply of the chemicals was never done, but the contractor, one Wuro Soyo Investment Nigeria Limited has been fully paid, saying that chemicals of the said amount when diluted can spray a farmland equal to the entire land area of the state, which is 49, 119sq2.