Kaduna assembly report on El-Rufai riddled with falsehood – Ex-commissioners

Kaduna assembly report on El-Rufai riddled with falsehood – Ex-commissioners

Some commissioners who served in the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai from 2015 to 2023 in Kaduna State have said the state assembly’s report on the former governor is riddled with falsehood and predetermined conclusions.

They are former commissioners for Environment, Jafaru Ibrahim; Humanitarian Services and Social Development, Hafsat Mohammed Baba; Planning and Budget Commission, Umar Yusuf Aboki; and Finance, Bashir Saidu.

Recall that the Kaduna State House of Assembly had constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate all financial transactions, loans, grants and project executions by the El-Rufai administration. 

This development came on the heels of Governor Uba Sani’s statement at a town hall meeting that the state was grappling with a debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion and N115 billion contractual liabilities left behind by the El-Rufai led government. 

The disclosure sparked a debate on the debts, prompting calls for scrutiny of key officials involved in loan procurement, project execution and fund utilisation.

Addressing newsmen on Friday in Abuja, Jafaru, who was flanked by his colleagues, said all loans secured by the administration were utilised judiciously in the interest of the people of the state.

He said the adoption of the report of the ad hoc committee, which he said was not made available to top officials of the El-Rufai administration that were indicted, despite their request for the certified true copy of the report, was worrisome and unfortunate.

Jafaru also described the allegation of money laundering in the report as baseless, saying, “This baseless allegation is the peak of the defamatory agenda to which the ad hoc committee and the Kaduna State House of Assembly willingly lent themselves as spineless accomplices.”

Jafaru said: “The ad hoc committee concocted several claims, intended to grab headlines, which we challenge below: Contrary to the allegations, we affirm that there is no basis for the wild claims about money laundering.

“The government of Malam Nasir El-Rufai inherited external debts of $234 million in 2015. It followed due process in securing its loans and the testimony of Aminu Shagali, who was the Speaker between June 2015 and early 2020, confirms this.” 

“To enhance the delivery of its progressive governance agenda for Kaduna State, the El-Rufai administration approached the World Bank for credit. The board of the World Bank approved the credit in June 2017 as a Performance for Result (P4R) credit of $350 million.

“The conditions for the grant of this credit were entirely performance-driven. Kaduna State is so far the only subnational in Nigeria that has received this kind of credit.

“Like other loans raised by the El-Rufai administration, the $350 million World Bank Performance-for-Result (P4R) loan was properly utilised in furtherance of the development of Kaduna State.”