Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, has uncovered irregularities in the award of contracts for the abandoned cargo airport in the state capital, Gusua. These irregularities have resulted in the embezzlement of funds exceeding N6 billion by the previous administration in the state. Governor Lawal, in a statement released by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, expressed his commitment to holding accountable those responsible for the financial recklessness. Upon assuming office, Governor Lawal directed an assessment of the project’s progress and the corresponding value of funds paid to contractors.
A five-member committee was formed to review pre-contract activities and determine the best approach for timely completion of the project. The committee’s report revealed several discrepancies, including the lack of input from relevant government departments in vetting designs and specifications, as well as the absence of contract documents at the time of award. The report also highlighted the failure to obtain necessary approvals from regulatory bodies before commencing work on the project.
Payments were made to contractors without proper valuation and certification from government agencies. The committee estimates that the contractors should refund the Zamfara State government over N4,526,313,520.77 based on evaluations conducted by independent firms. Governor Lawal emphasized the government’s commitment to pursuing cases of mismanagement and ensuring the return of funds for the benefit of the state’s residents, while holding those involved accountable.