|The general public may wish to recall our investigation report dated 29th November 2018 entitled “32 Million Naira Tractors and Implements Constituency Project in Baruten and Kaiama of Kwara State: Hon. Zakari Muhammad Fails to Provide Location”
(http://enetsud.org/2018/11/29/32-million-naira-tractors-and-implements-constituency-project-in-baruten-and-kaiama-of-kwara-state-hon-zakari-muhammad-fails-to-provide-location/). We are aware of the rejoinder issued by Hon. Zakari Muhammad on the same date entitled “Supply of N29 Million Tractors, Others Yet To Be Completed, No Tractor is Missing” (http://orientmags.com/index.php/2018/11/30/rep-zakari-mohammed-clears-air-on-alleged-missing-tractor-says-allegations-against-him-are-baselless-unfounded/).
N32m Tractors And Implements Constituency Project: Rep Member Fails To Provide Location
The ENetSuD is undoubtedly a trusted nonpartisan CSO in Kwara state that is thoroughly investigating how public funds are spent through its #FollowKwaraMoney project. The continuous commendations and vote of confidence being passed on us by indigenes and residents of Kwara state (in whose interest we were formed and are rendering our selfless services) are fulfilling to us, and thus, we are not interested in any good remark on us by politicians like Hon. Zakari. We are aware of the fact that a sincere and reputable CSO like ENetSuD will not be liked by politicians, and we are comfortable to be so. ENetSuD efforts to promote good governance in Kwara state through all the civic and legitimate means are already yielding results, as we are making tax-payers monies work for Kwarans against the wish of dishonest politicians that have enriched themselves with the commonwealth of Kwarans.
ENetSuD is not bothered, and will not be distracted by the erroneous nomenclature it has been tagged by Hon. Zakari and other politicians who are not comfortable with our #FollowKwaraMoney activities to ensure that#KwaraMoneyMustWorkForKwarans, probably because they have become addicted to the impunity with which public funds were being mismanaged before the creation of ENetSuD. The choice of words of Hon. Zakari has obviously shown that he is not familiar with the expected legitimate role of CSOs in good governance, open leadership, Transparency and accountability in democratic government. Probably because he was new to being asked for accountability to his constituency members, Hon. Zakari did not objectively compose his rejoinder and contradicted himself by saying that we did not give him fair hearing, a claim that was negated by paragraph 9 of his own statement that he received messages from ENetSuD to ask for the location of the tractor and implements. We expect that a legislator with genuine intention to help his/her community member with Constituency project nomination should actually commend and cooperate with our sincere, selfless and meritorious #FollowKwaraMoneyactivities, so that #KwaraMoneyMustWorkForKwarans.
In his rejoinder, Hon Zakari further said that “….. no tractors or implements were either missing or diverted…….”. ENetSuD is politely referring him to meticulously re-read our previous report on the project for better understanding, as we did not allege him that the tractor and/or the implements were missing or diverted. The simple question that we asked him to respond to was: “where are the tractor and the implements? We were amused with the series of irrelevant and unacceptable defences that Hon. Zakari gave to this simple and unambiguous question. Even though Constituency Project does not have a legal basis in the Nigeria Constitution, we are fully aware of the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution. This has formed the basis of directing all our investigations on the projects to the appropriate Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) that execute the projects. Having gotten all other required information from NCAM (the MDA that executed his nominated project), we contacted him only because NCAM directed us to him for information related to the current location of the tractor and implements. We did not ask for another thing from him other than the location as advised by NCAM.
Reading his statements, Hon. Zakari unknowingly validated all the findings from the independent investigations of ENetSuD, a development that is also fulfilling to us. He agreed with our figures on the financial details of the project, and corroborated our earlier claim that he received the tractor and implements from NCAM. These have further shown beyond doubt that ENetSuD is credible and thorough in its investigations. We are aware of the fact that only 70% fund for the 2017 Zonal Intervention (Constituency) Projects was released by Federal Government to the executing agencies, a fact that Hon. Zakari was supposed to know as a member of National Assembly. The NCAM insisted that the N29,042,291 paid to contractor (Nuellika Infinity Ltd., Suite 4, NNPC Filling Station, Gwarinpa, Abuja) could only procure ONE Tractor and the implements listed in our previous report. If this claim by NCAM is true, how is a project whose execution has been declared completed based on the available fund be referred to as an ongoing project? If at all he honestly wants the other local government to have another tractor as he claimed in his statement, he could have nominated another tractor project in the ongoing 2018 Zonal Intervention project, but our thorough analysis of the 2018 budget shows that he did not do that. So, his hurriedly prepared defense that he is waiting for another supply of tractor before releasing them to the 2 local governments in his constituency is unrealistic, and unacceptable. Though he truly has oversight function as a legislator that nominated the project, but his oversight was not channeled through NCAM (the executing MDA) according to our further interaction with the Agency. NCAM management further disclosed to us that he did not report his acclaimed low quality of the supplied tractor to them. They also told us that his allegation about haphazard execution and supply of low quality equipment was false and could not be substantiated. As a legislator, he cannot usurp the power of the executing agency (NCAM).
We will like to remind Hon. Zakari that his constituency is at Baruten and Kaiama local government areas (LGAs), and the beneficiaries of the Tractor and implements are in these LGAs. Residents in these LGAs, who are farmers, painfully told us that they always hire tractors and other farming equipment from Oyo and Niger State whenever they need them. While we commend him for nominating this project to benefit the farmers in his constituency, we strongly condemn his refusal to deliver this Federal government funded project to his constituency and his act of moving the tractor and the implements from Kwara state and locking them in an unknown store in Abuja, both of which have already defeated the good intention with which he might have nominated such project. The simple fact that Kwara money is not yet working for Kwarans as a result of his action is unacceptable to us.
In conclusion, we are calling on Hon. Zakari Muhammad to immediately return the tractor and implements he received from NCAM to either Baruten or Kaiama Local Government Council for immediate use by the farmers that the project is meant for. The two local governments can be jointly using the tractor and implements pending the appropriation of another set for the other community, which is not late for Hon. Zakari to insert in the 2019 budget, as he has failed to do so in the 2018 budget that is currently under execution. We also want to assure Hon. Zakari that we shall not lay this matter to rest until his constituency members (Baruten or Kaiama Local Government Council) confirm to us that they have received the Tractor and implements in good condition.
Dr. Abdullateef I. ALAGBONSI, ACPA, Ph.D.