While Gov. Lamido Pockets N1.3 billion Kickback, Jigawa’s Anti-Poverty Projects Are Poorly Funded

Former Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State

Sule Lamido’s first known scorecard as Governor of Jigawa State came in 2009, two years after taking office. That year, only 2.5 percent of Jigawa indigenes scored at least five credits — including English and Mathematics — in the West African Senior School Examinations.

For a governor who won the seat promising reforms in education, the result was a stark setback. So when the performance improved significantly to 10.5 percent in 2010, a jubilant Jigawa cabinet reached to the media to trumpet that achievement.

In Dutse in 2011, Babandi Gumel, the state Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, announced that successful candidates were free to pursue further studies anywhere in the world as the government was prepared to bankroll their education.

But as the high school pass rate rose to 33 percent in 2012, the World Bank a year later reminded the governor of another nauseating but stark reality facing the state. The bank released a damning report indicating that 70 million Nigerian adults lived in poverty in 2013; majority of them residing in Jigawa state.

Mr. Lamido’s  tenure has been defined by such a mix of achievements and let-downs. Analysts believe that what the governor is giving with the right hand, he is taking back with his left. So even with the noticeable infrastructural improvement in Dutse, the state capital, majority of Jigawa people remained trapped in poverty and disease. To lift his people’s standard of living, the governor needed to be less profligate so as to have enough funds to to improve critical sectors of the state’s economy. Those familiar with the state say that hasn’t happened at a rate it should. The revelation this week that the governor helped himself to state funds- in form of kickbacks- has shed light into why that has not happened.

In an exclusive report Tuesday, PREMIUM TIMES published details of how Mr. Lamido and his sons, Aminu and Mustapha Lamido, used their positions to siphon Jigawa State funds.

The details showed how N1.3 billion was paid by the construction firm, Dantata and Sawoe, as a 10 percent kickback for contracts the firm won. The money was paid into the accounts of companies owned by Governor Lamido and his sons.

Details obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed how between 2007, when Mr. Lamido assumed office, and 2014, Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company was awarded contracts amounting to N13.5 billion. Payments for the contracts were made by the state government to the construction firm through five banks – Zenith, Access, Diamond, Sterling and UBA.

Within the same period, according to a probe of the transactions by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dantata and Sawoe paid out over N1.3 billion into the accounts of companies in which the governor and his sons — Mustapha and Aminu –have interests, specifically the accounts of Bamaina Holdings Limited where Sule Lamido is sole signatory and Speeds International Limited.

Both accounts are domiciled in Unity Bank Plc.

Neither the company nor the governor’s office has commented on the investigations.

But a review of Jigawa State’s spending plan for 2014 shows that the amount the Lamidos allegedly received as bribe alone outstripped what the governor proposed to spend on creating new jobs for a population the World Bank designated as Nigeria’s poorest.

Out of the total budget of N114 billion, Mr. Lamido proposed to spend N1.04 billion on employment initiative. The plan was to focus on skill acquisition, “creation of job opportunities and providing means of livelihoods,” the governor told state lawmakers while presenting the budget in late 2013.

He said the provision was to cover regular skill acquisition programmes in six existing Skill Acquisition Centres in the state, as well as other specialized economic empowerment programmes.

In addition, the governor offered to speed up job and wealth creation by supporting some 24 Local Governments to establish “mini skill acquisition centres”.

It is not clear how much those projects have been implemented so far. But extra funding for the project, say of the range paid Mr. Lamido by Dantata and Sawoe, could have helped cover the project in the three remaining Local Government Areas of the state. Jigawa State has 27 LGAs.

Another sector that could also force down poverty- Small and Medium Enterprises- received N940 million from the state governor, again less than what the Lamido’s pocketed as bribe.

Electrification of rural communities for 2014 in Jigawa State, capable of also stimulating economic activities, received N500 million- a paltry figure compared to what the governor was paid in bribes.

Mr. Lamido provided reasonably well for education, although adult and non-formal education and library Services again received little – – N210 million

Mr. Lamido became governor when the poverty assessment by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2007 concluded that 90.9 percent of Jigawa people lived within the margins of poverty. The figure was the worst in the country at the time.

The 2013 World Bank report pegged the poverty coverage at 77.5 percent, again, the worst in the country, compared to 22.9 percent in Lagos state.

There is no known poverty data for the state in 2014.


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  • Amazed

    This guy is the worst hypocrite of our time. He presents himself as a friend of the poor while milking the same poor people dry. Whether he likes it or not, he will pay for his indiscretion, if not now, certainly later.

    • Oracle

      pay to whom?

  • Corkers.

    Okay, if you say so then where is 2o billion dollers that Sanusis former CBN Gov exposed?

    • Cypo

      Maybe you do not listen to news report about the issue. FOI is free today in Nigeria. You can do yourself a favor by requesting information on the findings about the alleged missing Money from the Senate or House of Reps. Besides, you are not quoting your source very well, because as far as I can remember, your discredited source said it was 49, and later 10-12 then recanted and said it was 20. Those who are well educated do not argue so blindly and I suggest you make your comments without being partisan. I have taken my time to check all the major Nigerian Newspapers online, and I keep reading the same comment from you about whatever 20 billion USD. But please dear, does it mean that you have nothing else to say other than repeating yourself?

      • Cypo

        You may be a paid party online agent but you need to be logical and rational in your argument.

    • Ladi

      I did know that Governor Lamido is a big thief. Big barawo and big ole.

      • Bukar

        He is not just a crook but a pretender to knowledge. Strain your ears as best you can you’ll never Sule Lamido make sense with a complete thought process. He is not just in-articulate but a dunce on public planning economics.

    • Psalm 35

      What does that have to do with the current topic ? Are you confusing Gov Lamido with ex CBN Gov Sanusi Lamido or are you just creating a distraction to the expose at hand

  • Factual

    It’s all about 2015, no more no less.

  • Jay

    This is all about 2015.

    The fraud at the federal level is monumental.
    People there are just transforming their pocket.
    So all you these sponsored commentator should keep quiet.

  • Nagujungu

    He was supposed to decamp to APC but sensing danger he retracted . The test for the anti corruption agency is taking this case to trial. It expose corruption but get stuck afterward except for ordinary Nigerians. There are corrupt cases against governors and other political appointee that has gone no where the noise making. After he remain with PDP it is yet to be seen if he will not cruise home with the loot. Where is the sharia court? It seems the court is not helping out or is it for politics only?

    • Nasir Mamman

      This arrogant Sule and his kids don’t have a million Naira to their names before 2007, but now it’s a different story, mansions, cars, fat accounts etcetera.unless proceeds of the loot are confiscated justice wouldn’t have been dispensed.