Transparency: Abdulrazaq administration has lost public trust – group

…asks probe panel to go beyond N300m LG funds *worries mount over pace of probe

By Mumini AbdulKareem
The People’s Voice Advocacy Network on Sunday said Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has lost the public trust that ushered him into office, especially on area of Transparency and Accountability.
The group in a statement by the Assistant Publicity Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Abdulraheem said nothing may come out of ongoing local government investigations by Justice Adewara led panel.
The civil society organisation established to promote good governance and social justice expressed reservations on the manner in which the panel of inquiry set up by the Kwara State Government is carrying out the task to look into the N300m LG funds which was allegedly mismanaged.
The group however tasked the panel not be restricted to the investigation of the acclaimed mismanagement of the fund alone rather beam its search light on how Kwara State Government led by Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq manages the entire council funds in the last one year of his administration.
“This request may not be unconnected with the fact that the governor has been the sole administrator of the 16 LGs in the last one year or thereabout”, it added.
The statement read: “The panel’s investigation into the alleged mismanagement of N300million LG funds is not an end but a means to it. Rather than wasting time and resources on just a single segment, the group demands that a holistic investigation and probe into how LG funds have been managed in the last one year should be the way to go as that would definitely lead to the missing N300m.
“Interestingly, the first and second quarters reports of 2020 has enough revelations and can be a guide for Retired Justice Adewara-led panel of inquiry.
“We believe that the panel already got the needed instructions to dig out facts from speculations, if actually they have genuine mission to do an excellent job in the interest of the governed. More reason the Civil Society organization demands that the panel search light should begin from the root, and not on the surface. Any conscious being can easily spot loopholes in the report circulated on social media. Or is it another way of distracting people’s attention from raising pertinent questions on more important issues? As the two reports circulated didn’t bear any official name nor signature”, said Olaitan.
“The report of retired Justice Mathew Adewara-led panel further reaffirmed the position of the governed in the ongoing investigation that nothing good may come out of it. The non submission of memorandum by members of the public, despite the panel’s advertisement on both the print and electronic media, is a signal that the State government had lost the public trust that ushered her into office, especially on area of Transparency and Accountability.
The group further claimed that there are some discrepancies in the released data made available by the Governor’s spokesman and the revelation coming from LG Officials who were interrogated by the Panel.
“Both the spokesman of the Governor and party mouthpiece had earlier confirmed to the general public that the 15% salary arrears of both the LG and SUBEB teachers paid early this year was as a result of the money saved after completion of loan repayment that ended in September. To our surprise, a contrary report emerged during the facts finding mission from LG staff which revealed that the loan repayment actually ended in December. May we refer the Adewara led Panel to peruse the 4th quarter of 2019 report confirmed that there was no Loan Repayment by LG to any Financial institution?
The group hereby ask the following questions: “Where are the receipts of LG share from FAAC since May 2019 till date, where are the documents that confirmed the receipt of 10% share from the IGR from May 2019 till date, what is the wage bill of LG and SUBEB, how much was saved after salary payment since September 2019 LG completed their loan repayment and how much was used to pay the 15% in January this year, where is the receipt that confirmed that N100million has been expended monthly on gratuities from May 2019 till date even when available facts shows that it is not being paid on a monthly basis but periodically, even as it went as low as N30m, N40m and N60m respectively”, it noted.
It noted that in the public interest, “we hope the panel will dig into the above raised issues and be transparent in her report”.

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