The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization (CSO) was established with the primary aim of promoting good governance and ensuring transparency and accountability. Among our approaches toward ensuring good governance in the state are to enlighten the public to take active part in policy formulation, campaign against corruption, expose corrupt practices, advocate for transparency and accountability in leadership, protect citizens’ rights, and monitor the implementation and performance of Kwara state-related budgets.
2. We initiated a #FollowKwaraMoney project, so that #KwaraMoneyMustWorkForKwarans. As part of our activities on this project, we have written Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to ALL the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) that executed the 2017 Zonal Intervention (Constituency) Projects (ZIPs) in Kwara state.
3. Specifically, we wrote the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) via various letters ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/2 (dated 25th July, 2018), ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/15 (dated 29th August, 2018), and ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/23 (dated 1st October, 2018) to request for the financial details, execution status and location of the “Supply of 2 units of tractor and implements in Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency in Kwara State” nominated by Hon. Zakari Muhammad as part of 2017 ZIP for his constituency.
4. The NCAM finally provided us with the details of the project as follow:
i. 2 Tractors @ N14,500,000
ii. 1 Plough 3 disc AF 28” @ N3,100,000
iii. 1 Marrow 20 disc (10 serrated) @ N3,100,000
iv. 1 Ridger 2 row 28” @3,200,000
v. 125 sprayer knapsack 20 lts @ N25,740 each
5. The NCAM also disclosed that N45,856,250 was appropriated for the project whose contract sum is N43,697,500, and that after deducting N1,528,541 (withholding tax) and N1,494,541 (Admin fee), N29,042,291 was paid to the contractor (Nuellika Infinity Ltd., Suite 4, NNPC Filling Station, Gwarinpa, Abuja) out of the N32,099,375 received by NCAM from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
6. We requested the exact present location of the tractor and the implement from the Executive Director of NCAM, so as to sight them and ascertain that the projects were delivered to the beneficiary communities for their use. He insisted that NCAM has finished her execution job and unequivocally told us that all the tractor and implements were delivered to Hon. Zakari Muhammad (through his designated representative). He further advised us to contact Hon. Zakari Muhammad to provide us with the location of the tractor and implements, as he is the only one that has such information
7. On 15th November, 2018, we called Hon. Zakari Muhammad to request for the project information, but he did not answer the call and immediately sent us SMS that we should send him text message instead. We have been repeatedly sending him messages since that date, but he has failed to respond to any of our messages even though he read everything.
8. Disappointed with his failure to provide the location, we did our independent investigation to find out if the tractor and implements were handed over by him to Baruten and/or Kaiama that make up the Federal Constituency which he represents in the Lower House of the National Assembly. To our dismay, we authoritatively confirmed that no tractor and implements were supplied to any of these local government councils.
9. Residents in Baruten and Kaiama Local Governments, who are farmers, painfully told us that they always hire tractors and other farming equipment from Oyo and Niger State whenever they need them, and there is no tractor and implements provided to their communities by Hon. Zakari Muhammad, even though such project have been funded by Federal Government and executed by NCAM.
10. It is on this note that we are calling on Hon. Zakari Muhammad to simply provide us with the location of the tractor and implements procured by taxpayers money and meant for the use ofthe entire people of Baruten and Kaiama. We are also calling on him to immediately handover the tractor and implements to the communities for their continuous use, so that #KwaraMoneyMustWorkForKwarans.
11. We are finally giving Hon. Zakari Muhammad another benefit of doubt, and we shall not hesitate to formally forward a petition to Anti-corruption agencies if he further fails to yield to our calls in paragraph “10” above after 3 weeks of the publication of this report.
Dr. ALAGBONSI Abdullateef, ACPA, Ph.D.