Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State on Friday inaugurated a 21-member committee led by Senator Isa Hamma as chairman, and Prof. Sylvester Shikyil as secretary with eleven terms of reference to conduct its duty which covers the period from May 2007 to May 2019 to recover funds and assets movable and immovable of the state wherever it may be located in Nigeria.
The governor claimed that the state received from the federation account in form of allocation and intervention a sum of over two trillion naira between 2007 and 2019 with virtually nothing to show of it.
Governor Mohammed, who spoke at the Banquet Hall Government House Bauchi Friday, said the money was scandalously mismanaged by the past administrations.
He noted that if financial profligacy is allowed to go unchecked, Bauchi state will one day be reduced to the status of a glorified local government.
He further disclosed that, the state revenue collection between 2015 to 2019 stood at over N400 billion, however, statistics showed that out of the eight states with total percentage of about 4, 000% debt, Bauchi state alone has a combine profile of 783% domestic and 32% external debts.
The governor recalled that despite the N47 billion and N17 billion Bauchi got during the first tenure of Buhari administration as bailout and Paris club funds, the state is embarrassingly having a debt profile of N150 billion, and unpaid gratuity bills of N27 billion, describing the irregularity as ‘sad.’
The committee is saddled with the responsibility of identifying and compiling a comprehensive list of state government’s properties which include real estate, shares, funds or any other movable and immovable asset of the same kind, an actual or constructive possession of any person or corporate entity.
The committee is also to ascertain and appraise all cases where government’s developed landed properties were disposed-off by previous administrations from May 2007 to May 2019 with a view to determining the legality or otherwise of the transactions that culminated into the disposal of the assets and recovering them for the state.
The governor explained that the committee in carrying out its assigned duty is to liaise with federal government agencies with a view to ascertaining and recovering any such amount of funds belonging to the state government as may have been misappropriated by individuals or group of individuals who held public offices.
Other terms of reference of the committee included consideration and appraisal of reports of various commissions or committees of inquiry set-up by previous administrations in the state from May 2007 to May 2019 with a view to effecting full implementation of all the recommendations requiring recovery of government’s properties and funds.
Given up to three months within which to submit report, the committee is also to recommend to the state’s Attorney-General competent private legal practitioners with proven integrity for legal instruction/fiat or consultancy to recovery through litigation any government’s asset or fund before any court for legal fees contingent upon physical recovery.
Other members of the committee include Bri.Gen. Markus Yake (rtd), Umar Barau Ningi, Air Comdr. Tijjani Gamwa (rtd), Musa Gora, CP Hamisu Makama (rtd), ACP Musa Kwankiyel (rtd), Musa Azare, B.B. Dogo, Kamel Isah, Hon. Harsanu Guyaba, Barr. Lawal Hussaini Ibrahim and Hon. Maryam Garba Bagel.
Also on the committee are Sani Shehu (Sanin Malam), Arc. Baba Mohammed Dadi, Maigana Adamu Abdulkadir, Barr. Dawood Yakubu (Solicitor-Gen), Tijjani Abdulkadir SCA, and Barr. Mukhtar Abubakar Usman to serve as assistant secretary.