The Bauchi State Executive Council has asked that all cases of alleged infractions in the finances of the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, Ministry for Local Government Affairs and the Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Agency from May 2007 and May 2015 be referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for necessary actions and measures be taken to bring all those involved, no matter how highly placed, to book and recover and return the amounts misappropriated to the Bauchi State government.
This follows the submission of report by the Air Commodore Tijjani Gamawa Committee set up to investigate the activities of the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, Ministry for Local Government Affairs and the Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Agency and the constitution of a White Paper Drafting Committee under the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice which also submitted its report to Government for consideration, and the subsequent approval given by the State Executive Council adoption of the recommendations of the Committee.
In the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, it was discovered that from April 2007 to May 2015 nearly three hundred and forty-nine billion naira was received as revenue from the Federation Accounts by the Ministry out of which over two hundred and seventy-two naira was expended while the balance of nearly seventy-six billion naira could not be accounted for by anyone.
Consequently, Council approved the recommendation that the issue be referred to a High Powered Committee to ascertain the level of involvement of all government officers mentioned to enable Government in taking appropriate action.
Council also approved that the relevant government officials mentioned in the report be made to refund over two billion naira released for the provision of infrastructural facilities in the sectors of Health, Education and Security across the 20 local government areas which was not implemented.
On the State Universal Basic Education Board, it was discovered that the sum of over nine hundred and thirty million naira was obtained as loan by the Board without following due process and monies deposited in a fixed deposit account from which seventy-four million naira interest was realized and carted away by some staff of the Board.
Council therefore approved the recommendation of the Committee for the culprits to be made to jointly refund the said amount to the State Government immediately.
The White Paper Committee also reported that over one hundred and thirty-two million was paid as supervision allowances/NATA to some officers and companies, contrary to the provision of extant laws. Council similarly approved the recommendation of the Committee that respective officers and companies mentioned in the report be made to immediately refund the said amounts to Government.
According to the White Paper Committee, it was been discovered that under the period under review, two billion naira was granted as loan by the Central Bank of Nigeria to Micro Finance Banks across the State while only five hundred million naira was disbursed to the 13 Micro Finance Banks, leaving one point five billion naira said to have been expended in the name of security vote. Council also approved that the relevant Government officers involved be made to immediately refund the amounts to government coffers.
The Committee also reported that under questionable circumstances, the sum of nearly four hundred and ninety million naira was said to have been expended by the Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Council also approved that the officers be made to immediately refund all the monies against them.
The Executive Council also directed the Head of State Civil Service to immediately initiate appropriate disciplinary actions against all the Civil Servants involved.