By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said he would have inherited an empty treasury if the account of the state government had not been frozen on the eve of his inauguration, recalling that only the N4.8billion tax refund seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) was inherited from the past administration.
“That N4.8billion is in our cash reserve. We have not touched it. It will be used to balance the budget for next year. It will be invested in our schools, road infrastructure, among others,”
AbdulRazaq said this at the International Anti Corruption Day Rally organised by the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Office in Ilorin, on Monday.
“We thank the Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC for the recoveries they’ve made. When we came into power, there would have been nothing to inherit. The past government told us that they left a debt of N30billion but so far we are looking at the debt of almost N100billion.
“We don’t see this march as that of the law enforcement agency (alone). It is a march for everybody and the important message for all of us is, if we don’t kill corruption, it will kill all of us.”
AbdulRazaq said corruption is detrimental to the socio-economic development of any society as it reduces the government’s capacity to deliver on campaign promises.
“Corruption is killing us in our schools and hospitals; it hinders infrastructural development. It is therefore important that we work hand in hand with the anti-corruption agencies and be part of the processes to develop our society,” he said.
AbdulRazaq also thanked the EFCC for the recent recovery of N111million from some past government officials.
He also said whatever recoveries made from the ongoing probe of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) would be invested to secure the future of Kwarans, especially through the upcoming Social Investment Programme, assuring the anti-graft body of maximum support for its operations in the state.
AbdulRazaq urged Kwarans to continue to support the anti-corruption drive of the Muhammadu Buhari administration as part of the overall strategy to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Zonal Head of EFCC in Ilorin Isyaku Sharu said the body has recovered over 10 properties and cash worth over N3.6bn from “treasury looters” in Kwara State since February when it began operation in the state.
“These properties include two in Ikoyi, one in Lekki and the recent one is over one billion naira worth houses in GRA, Ilorin,” according to Sharu.
“It is pertinent to know that at the eve of the last handover, the commission saved the Kwara State Government over N4billion of tax refund. Currently, ongoing investigation into the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service led to the recovery of about N50million while efforts are in top gear to recover the remaining of about N4billion from some notable individuals fingered in the KWIRS saga.”
Sharu said the rally was an advocacy to further create awareness for the world to unite against corruption.
Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker Salihu Danladi commended the anti-graft body for its advocacy against corruption, adding: “It is important for all of us to partner with the EFCC to kill corruption and save our state and Nigeria in general.”
The rally was attended by hundreds of people, including top public servants like the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi; and the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Professor Mamman Saba Jibri.