Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State, Nigeria, has uncovered the withdrawal of N70 billion cash by a few officials from two bank accounts of Government House in the state.
He made this known while announcing the reduction of the state’s ministries from 23 to 14 in a broadcast on Thursday night, during which he also announced the reduction of the number of permanent secretaries from 54 to 25.
Bello further said the administration would pursue the issue of looted fund retrieval in line with regulations, adding that the committee on this issue had submitted its interim report.
“For example, an examination of only two bank accounts of Government House shows more than N70 billion cash withdrawals by a few officials who must explain the purpose for which the withdrawals were made.
“The operation of the Joint Account was characterised by diversions and misapplications of huge funds, especially those paid to Ward Development Projects and 10km Road Projects,’’ Bello said.
He said that N832.5 million of the 10km road project was transferred to Local Government Chairmen Forum, N75 million to Government House and N300 million to Office of the Secretary to the State Government.
The governor said that this accounted for why most of the 10km road projects were abandoned by the contractors.