Zamfara govt releases documents showing Tinubu’s minister squandered over N1 billion on abandoned hotel

The Zamfara State government has released damning information accusing the immediate past governor, Bello Matawalle, who is currently the State Minister for Defence, of financial impropriety.

The documents reveal the misappropriation of over N1 billion meant for constructing an abandoned hotel service centre in Gusau, the state’s capital.

As reported by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Zamfara governor, Sulaiman Bala, the statement disclosed that Matawalle approved payment of over a billion Naira to a construction firm, 180 Circle Construction & Engineering Ltd., for the development of the Gusau Motel, a project that remains incomplete.

The statement highlighted several irregularities in the handling of funds.

It reported that there was a prolonged absence of work at the construction site after authorising a substantial payment to the contractor.

Even after the contractor resumed work following instructions from the Ministry of Works, the government said significant portions of the project remained unexecuted.

The breakdown of disbursements, as revealed, detailed various payments to the contractor throughout 2021 and 2022, totalling over a billion Naira.

The statement added that despite the enormous payments made, critical aspects of the project, such as the multi-purpose hall, restaurant, laundry, sporting facilities, infrastructure, and perimeter fencing, had yet to commence, exposing a severe mismatch between funds disbursed and actual work completed.

The state government accused Matawalle of overpaying the contractor by an excessive amount of over 600 million Naira, resulting in the project’s abandonment despite insufficient progress on the site.

The Zamfara State government emphasised its commitment to exposing financial misconduct and ensuring accountability, asserting its dedication to the state’s “Rescue Mission.”

It said:

“It is worrisome to note that the contractor was overpaid the sum of 667,713,161.64 million Naira by Bello Matawalle and subsequently abandoned the project. The work done on-site, as presented in pictures, has been valued at N344,088,384.15, which represents 29.94% of the total progress.

“It goes against the principles of our government’s Rescue Mission and the trust placed in us by the people of Zamfara State to let financial misconduct go unpunished.

“We are committed to uncovering any actions that have breached the people’s trust and holding those responsible accountable. We are on a rescue mission!”

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