Matawalle Stole N6.7 Billion Meant for Zamfara Airport – Governor Dauda Lawal

Governor Dauda Lawal has accused the previous administration of Bello Matawalle of embezzling billions of naira from the Zamfara Airport project, which was subsequently abandoned. The government alleges that the previous administration carried out a dubious transaction of N6,775,949,561.50 for the abandoned Cargo Airport project in the state capital.

In a press statement issued on Thursday in Gusau, Sulaiman Bala Idris, the Spokesperson to the Governor, revealed that the government was shocked to discover the previous administration’s reckless financial mismanagement of the abandoned Zamfara Cargo Airport project. He added that Governor Lawal’s administration will bring those responsible for financial recklessness to justice.

The statement further disclosed that upon assuming office, Governor Dauda Lawal directed an assessment of the progress of work done and the corresponding value of monies paid to contractors. A five-member committee was constituted for this task and to review pre-contract activities.

The committee’s report revealed that Avic International Engineering Limited provided engineering and architectural design. However, contract documents were unavailable at the time of the contract award. The contract was awarded to Avic International Engineering Limited for a sum of N11,551,899,123.00 only. The report also found that preliminary approvals from relevant regulatory bodies in the aviation industry were not obtained before work commenced on the project.

The committee suggests discrepancies between the contract Bills of Quantities and engineering, architectural designs, and specifications. Total net payments made to the contractors amounted to N6,600,989,561.50. Additional payments were made to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and BJ Aerotronic Limited.

The administration of former Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle made a total payment of N6,775,949,561.50 for the abandoned project, whose completion level was less than 20%. Evaluations carried out by four different independent firms of experts and relevant government agencies have shown that the total value of work done is N2,249,636,040.73, representing 19.47% overall.