MICHAEL OLANREWAJU, Ilorin.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ilorin on Friday presented to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State the sum N111,428,891,00 being the cash recovered from the looted fund belonging to the state.
EFCC Zonal Head in Ilorin, Isyaku Sharu, who handed over the looted cash to Governor AbdulRazaq, said the commission, which began its operation in the state in February this year, had secured 29 convictions and recovered over N500million in both assets and cash.
He disclosed that the recovery was made from suspected state treasury looters, who allegedly misappropriated landed properties of Harmony Holdings while others diverted funds meant for micro small and medium credit scheme.
Sharu expressed the readiness of the antigraft agency to support the state government in profiling and keeping track on political office holders and key officers, warning that it would no longer be business as usual.
AbdulRazaq, who lauded the EFCC for the recovery, said the fund would be reinvested in the social investment programmes of his administration, a bill of which is before the state House of Assembly.
He pledged that the government would not use the money to award contracts, pointing out that it could help lift thousands of people out of poverty if well utilised.
AbdulRazaq said his government was replicating the federal government social investment programmes in fulfillment of his promise to reduce the menace of poverty in the state.
He urged the people of the state to join hands with the antigraft agency, describing it as a partner in progress.
“When I told people I was coming, they said I was going into the lion’s den, and I said no, EFCC belongs to us. We don’t need to be afraid of them unless we have something to hide. The federal government acted very well by supporting the EFCC.
“We are replicating many of the federal government programmes in Kwara, especially one of those is Social Investment Programmes. Some people know it as Tradermoni, Money Market, N-Power, School Feeding.
“People will now realise that the seed money for the programme was part of the money EFCC recovered, that the federal government used as seed money for the Social Investment Programmes. Our Social Investment Bill is in the State House of Assembly. It is about to be passed. We are also emulating the federal government in that.
“By the special grace of God, this money will go into social investment programmes of the state. We are not going to waste it. We are not going to misappropriate it. We will make sure it goes to where it is needed mostly. And those that are benefiting will know that it is EFCC recovered money so that they will pay back the money diligently when they get it as loan to help them in their businesses.
“This money is going to help thousands of people to lift them out of poverty. We are not going to award contracts with this money. It is just going to help the poor people”, AbdulRazaq said.
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