Contractors want Kwankwaso probed over N200bn debt
Local contractors in Kano have urged the federal government to probe former Governor of Kano state Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso over alleged N200bn debts.
Chairman, Kano state branch of Nigeria Chamber of Indigenous Contractors, Alhaji Auduwa Maitangaran, said the former governor had virtually crippled indigenous contractors in the state before he left for the senate.
“We have lost over 40 members who died as a result of illnesses they developed following the delay in releasing their funds by the former governor. Over 50 others were sent to prison because of huge debt and more than 100 members are currently on admission in various hospitals courtesy of nonpayment of their monies,” he said.
He said Kwankwaso only paid 30 per cent of the entire projects he executed in four years, leaving behind 70 per cent unpaid. He said 50 per cent of indigenous contractors had not been paid their monies.
“Alhaji Idi Bilya our member died of heart attack due to nonpayment of his money and another member Alhaji Ibrahim Carpenter who has over
N50m with Kano state government cannot produce N5,000 now. This is wickedness,” he said.
Maitangaran urged the federal government to probe the former governor, saying more facts will emerge from him when probed.
However, the chairman commended the incumbent governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for his commitment towards rescuing indigenous contractors by given them the sum of N200m to settle some contractors.
On the N24bn loan to be secured by the Kano state government, Maitangaran said the union was in full support of it, noting that the state is capable of offsetting it in the next 20 years.
In a related development, the state commissioner of information, Alhaji Muhammad Garba has accused the former governor of spending the N4.1bn pensioners’ fund in building houses for pensioners which they can’t afford to buy.
Garba alleged that “Kwankwaso borrowed the sum of N4.1bn pensioners’ funds to build Bandirawo and Amana Housing estates with the aim that pensioners could benefit from the houses, but when he realized that the houses are too expensive for them to occupy, he slashed their prices by 50 per cent and even at that the pensioners could not afford to buy the houses.”
In its efforts to resolve the problem, the present government had met with the pensioners and agreed that a certain number of the housing units in the two estates should be allocated to them as part of their entitlements, he said.
However, reacting to the allegations, Alhaji Alin Jallaba, a political associate of Kwankwaso, said what the former governor did was not something new in government.
He explained that “there are laid down rules and regulations on how to borrow funds from one sector to finance another in government. And I am sure the former governor has followed due process before he borrowed the funds.”
Jallaba added that had the project been completed before the expiration of Kwankwaso’s tenure, the houses would have been sold and the pensioners will also benefit from the profits generated from the project.
He said instead of the indigenous contractors to accuse the former governor, they should appeal to the incumbent government to offset their debt government.
“We should rather commend the former governor for initiating the project and for not borrowing a single Kobo from outside,” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (left), addresses some internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Kuka Reta Camp in Yobe yesterday.