By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
On the 18th of December 2019, during its first Council meeting, the Zamfara State Executive Council under the able leadership of His Excellency Governor Bello (Matawallen Maradun) revoked three unexecuted contracts, two of which were awarded to a Chinese Company China Zhonghao.
The contracts as revealed by the Commissioner of Works and Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Isah Mayana, were on rural electrification by Aliero Alliance Company and the construction of motorized boreholes by China Zhonghao awarded in 2013 and 2018 respectively.
The details revealed that the sum of ₦22,599,773,794.29 as part payment from total cost of the contract ₦25,992,654,151.90 was paid for electrification project across the 14 Local Government Areas since 2013 but the progress recorded was only 67% and the contract abandoned.
Similarly, the sum of ₦19,386,355,157.00 from the total cost of ₦27,595, 232,442.20 was paid to China Zhonghao for 84 Boreholes (Phase I) in 2013 and the progress stands at 75% which was also abandoned at that stage.
In 2018, another contract for 84 more boreholes at the total cost of ₦27,694,468,789.00 was awarded to the same China Zhonghao Company of which ₦14,477,616,221.00 was paid but the progress so far reached was 13% and then, abandoned.
The struggle to get the refund of the unused funds was resisted where the awarding Government of Abdulazeez Yari also cried foul in the media and alleged political vendetta as usual.
But the resilience and diligence of EFCC has started to yield positive result in the drive towards justice in this matter with the arrest of two Chinese working for China Zhonghao in connection with the aforementioned contracts who frantically tried to bribe the EFCC to abandon the investigation into the scam. We hope the matter will come to a logical conclusion very soon for the benefit of Zamfara tax-payers.