GOVERNOR Abubakar Bello of Niger State has invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to come and investigate the activities of his state after his predecessor Babangida Aliyu claimed that $181m has gone missing under his watch.
Between 2007 and 2015, Governor Aliyu presided over the affairs of Niger State, during which time he negotiated a $181m loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Governor Aliyu had personally raised the dust about two weeks ago over the loan, accusing the present administration over squandering the money he raised at the tail end of his administration.
As a result, Governor Bello said he will invite EFCC to the state to determine if the money had actually been collected since the road in contention, which is was supposed to be used for is still deplorable. Governor Aliyu had called on the present Niger State government to explain how it spent the money which was eventually released by the bank after he left office and collected by the present administration.
According to the former governor, the loan was meant for the dualisation of the Minna-Bida road and he wondered why the government did not utilise the money for the purpose it was meant for. He urged people of the state to demand an explanation over the loan.
Governor Aliyu said: ”I went to Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to seek an interest-free loan to dualise the Minna-Bida road but by the time the money came I has left office in 2015. Till now, the road project has not started and people should know the whereabouts of the money or be given an official statement on the road project.”
During the official flag-off of the 2019 local government council election campaign in Minna yesterday, Governor Bello declared that none of the money had entered into the coffers of the state government. He has subsequently invited the EFCC to determine what has happened, as nobody appears to know where the money is.
Governor Bello said: “We did not meet any money in government accounts when we came into office and neither has there been any money of such received by the government. For this, we are inviting the EFCC to come and probe this government and the other government to see who is lying among us.
“The EFCC should come and find out if the money has been released from that time till now. The money has not been released but if Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said it has been released, the EFCC should come and investigate who has taken the money.”