Niger Gov Sani Bello invites EFCC to investigate $181m Islamic bank loan

Niger Gov Sani Bello invites EFCC to investigate $181m Islamic bank loan

A few weeks after former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu alleged that Islamic Development Bank had released a $181m loan to the All Progressives Congress-led administration to fix Minna-Bida Road, the State Governor, Abubakar Bello has invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) to determine if the money has been released or not.

Bello insisted that it is only the EFCC that can come in to clear the air about the issue.

Aliyu had accused the government of not utilizing the $181 million IDB loan which had entered into the government’s account after he had left the office.

The former governor stated that the loan was meant for the dualization of the Minna-Bida Road and wondered why the government did not utilise the money for the purpose it was meant for urging the people to demand that the government give an account of the money and the purpose it was expended on.

In reaction, Bello said, “Based on the allegation on the loan meant for fixing Bida- Minna Road, we did not meet any money in government account when we came into office neither has there been any money of such received by the government.

The Governor spoke during the official flagoff of 2019 Local Government Council Election Campaign and presentation of flags to the party's flag bearers, held at the Justice Legbo Kutigi International Conference Center, Minna.

Describing the allegations as baseless and absurd, the Governor challenged the claim made by former Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, adding that the claim that the money was received shortly before the past administration left office is doubtful and should be investigated.

"Our government is not out to witchhunt or blackmail anybody. We have been accused of laundering the money in question. We, therefore, maintain our innocence and stand that the loan was not reflected in any account we know of. If it is as stated, we call on the past administration to tell us which account it was deposited into, because working with the hand-over note that was passed onto us, we are in the dark, with regards to any such payment".

The Governor further called on all parties involved to come clean on the state of the money in question, adding that " his administration is a government driven by transparency, equality and aims at bringing about progress and development for all Nigerlites.

He also called on security agencies to ensure peaceful elections across all Local Government areas of the state.

In his remarks, the speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse absolved the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of the allegation that the results of the coming Local Government elections have been awarded, assuring the people that the State House of Assembly has put in place all necessary measures to ensure a violence free elections.

The Chairman of the APC North Central Region, Suleiman Wambai, described Nigerlites as avid supporters of the APC since 2015.

 He said the state has done the All Progressives Congress proud, assuring them that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to put the interest of the state at heart.

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