Yuguda & SSG’s insatiable appetite for Bauchi Treasury, N7.998b Airport Upgrade, N1.683b Entertainment

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FROM LEFT: GOC 3RD DIVISION JOS, MAJ.-GEN. ADAMU MARWA, BAUCHI STATE GOV. ISA YUGUDA, AND NEW COMMANDANT OF NIGERIAN ARMY AMOURED CORPS BAUCHI, MAJ.-GEN.JACK NWAOGBO DURING THEIR COURTESY VISIT TO THE GOVERNOR IN BAUCHI

 

The 2011 presidential campaign exercise saw executive shame descend on the State of Bauchi and her administrators as an airplane carrying the vice presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], Mr. Fola Adeolu, landed on the runway of the Bauchi State airstrip to crash into folk of sheep that had made their way onto the airstrip – causing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA] to shut the airstrip for safety concerns. The airstrip reopened a year later following renovations valued at N290million. And, as learnt, the mishap gave birth to a multi-billion Naira siphoning and laundering exercise for the Governor and his men.

Information available to 247ureports.com through sources from top officials within the government house in Bauchi State indicate that the renovation of the airstrip and the subsequent upgrade to an international airport has served an excellent platform for the governor’s men to siphon and launder the Bauchi State treasury with “due process”.


A top government official reveals, the renovation of the airstrip pegged at N290million was ‘callously and heartlessly overpriced’ – particularly knowing the work performed at the airstrip comprised of mere fencing of the 2.5kilometer airstrip, runway repairs and towers repairs. As customary with the Yuguda administration, a 70% mobilization fee was paid as the contract was signed equivalent to the sum of N203miilion – allowing for the personalities involved in facilitating the contract to collect their share upfront. The Secretary to the State Government [SSG], Barrister Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija, in tandem with the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Buppa Azare, were said to have collected the lion-share of the mobilization fee. As the contractor was serving as a front for the two gentlemen. The contract belonged to the SSG and the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Buppa Azare.

As the NCAA Director General [DG], Dr. Harold Demuren reopened the airstrip following the completion of the renovation exercise, the governor of Bauchi State; Malam Yuguda announced to the DG NCAA that his administration will undertake a new exercise to upgrade the airstrip to an international airport – notwithstanding the airstrip operates at less than two flights a day – and sits 117kilometers from the underutilized Yakubu Gowon Airport in Jos the capital of Plateau State.

The Governor’s announcement indicated that the upgrade exercise will be accelerated to enable completion within eighteen [18] months. “The pilgrims for the 2013 Hajj will be airlifted from the new international airport” stated the governor who revealed that the contract development process was underway.

On October 25, 2011, the contract was signed for the upgrade of the already renovated airstrip to an international airport for the sum of N8billion [N7,998,595,433.13] awarded to Triacta Nigeria Limited [Managing Director, Eli Abu Fahat] over fourteen [14] other companies in a ‘competitive bidding’. According to the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Buppa Azare who signed the contract on behalf of the governor – who also doubles as the chairman of the project, 70% mobilization fee was released to the contractor – an amount equivalent to N5.6billion. Alhaji Azare explained the N5.6billion was paid to enable the contractor complete the work in eighteen [18] months. He went to add that the money for the contract has been secured and “it is available”.

The response to Yuguda’s N8billion airstrip upgrade announcement was quick. A top official within the Yuguda administration who ‘feel left out’ of the deal state that the amount pegged for the airstrip upgrade to be “ridiculously criminal” as he pointed to an equivalent international airport being proposed by Governor Al Makura in Nasarawa State as costing N1billion. “They are just sharing the money” who went on to add that even the affected communities who will have to relocate to other places have yet to be compensated. But “the Yuguda men went on the radio to say all compensation has been paid. And it obvious it has not been paid”.

On October 27, 2011, the spokesman to the affected communities, Musa Ibrahim, confirmed that none of their communities had received compensation. In his words, “We have over 1,000 people living in that place and we have been there for over 50 years because my grandfather was born in that place. The place is surrounded by the communities of Bakin Pa’ah, Jamai, Wuro Depe, Shattah and Jam pitril. As far as we are concerned nobody saw any compensation”.

Independent investigation by 247ureports.com reveals a transparent financial dishonesty within what appears a cabal within the Yuguda administration – between the SSG and some cronies in the governor’s cabinet.

On the first level, the Yuguda administration, following its public assurance of the availability of the N8billion to complete the airstrip upgrade, has turned to go behind the scenes to tap on each of the twenty [20] Local Government Area [LGA] to contribute N5million each on a monthly basis – a sum equivalent to N100million monthly. The money, according to the Yuguda administration, is for funding the airstrip upgrade.  Available information indicates the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Azare to be the one coordinating the N100million monthly levy on the LGAs – in his capacity as the project chairman. Keen observers of the Bauchi polity question what the additional N100million per month is being collected for.

Yuguda’s bold face award of an N8billion airstrip upgrade contract only months apart from the award of another bold face contract for conversion of a polytechnic to a teaching hospital for the sum of N2.6billion [N2,594,913,135.99] to Current Mechanical Engineering Limited depicts what appears a culture of financial dishonesty. In-depth inquiry into the actual contract values indicate the governor’s certainty over priced the contract by over 750%.

The governor’s insatiable appetite for the Bauchi treasury stretches beyond contract overpricing. In 2010 and the early part of [January to May] 2011, the Governor and his SSG spent N1.683billion on travel and entertainment alone. For the period in question, Gov Yuguda spent N400million on foreign and local trips while his SSG spent N587million. In 2010 alone, the governor spent N160million on ‘hospitality’ while his SSG spent N275.4million. For cleaning of the government house in 2010, the sum of N140million was spent.

Recent activity of Governor Isa Yuguda’s private salary account – i.e. the account where his salary is paid into – confirms the far reaching extend of the governor’s insatiable appetite. The account which is domiciled at Diamond bank located along Bank road near the government house – shows a steady monthly deposit of the governor’s salary at N1.2million. Information obtained from a source inside the bank indicates the governor recently took a loan on his salary account for the amount of N180million – with stipulated agreement to repay the loan by making deposits of N30million monthly into the account. But, interestingly, the governor has not been able to make consistent monthly payment as agreed. His last monthly payment was N60million owing to his inability to pay the stipulated N30million every month.

Under the guise of security concerns for the State and the threat of Boko Haram, the State governor earmarked over N17billion for security votes. And the security votes which normally is domiciled under the governor’s care, as in order states of the federation, is domiciled under the SSG office in Bauchi State. It is an anomaly which has experts in the State questioning why the governor and the SSG have chosen to switch roles. Other keen observers who point to the N17billion as duplicating the monies [N1trillion] already made available by the federal government, allege that the state  government and the security outfits stationed in the State – to be “having their way with the money”.

A close ally of the governor who spoke to 247ureports.com on phone blamed the governor’s insatiable appetite to his 2015 presidential aspirations and the SSG’s 2015 gubernatorial aspirations.

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