Zamfara Flood: Group alleges fraud in N123million aid to relocate over 3000 Gutsura people

The money meant to relocate the over 300,000 Gutsura people affected by the 2012 flood that ravaged the area was pilfered, an anti corruption group, Follow the Money, has discovered.

The Zamfara state government had released N123 million to relocate persons displaced by the flood, but Follow The Money, in a five-page report made available to PREMIUM TIMES, said the people were yet to be relocated.

The group, therefore, called for the immediate relocation of Gutsura people from the flood prone area.

“Has the NGN 123million promised by the government of Zamfara been used to relocate them to the new site as promised? Or has someone, somewhere, skimmed off the cream? When money’s too tight to mention, does it offer ’bang for buck’ which might lead to insurgencies?” the group asked in the report made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

The group said that while the state government acquired a new land for the project, it failed to build the promised 570 housing unit – at N105 million- for the people of Gutsura.

“In October 2013, the government of Zamfara said it had allocated N123 million to help relocate the 3,000 people residing in flood prone Gutsura.

Hoping to use NGN18 million to secure a new land (which we saw has been done), and NGN105 million to build 570 housing unit (which hasn’t been done). It is over a year now, as we ask the government of Zamfara to #RelocateGutsura immediately,” the group said in the project.

The group said it sent a Freedom of Information letter to the Zamfara Emergency Management Agency, ZEMA, in July but the agency has failed to respond.

Predicting a likelihood of epidemic diseases outbreak due to absence of health centres, clean water, Follow The Money, said “the community is already weakened by lack of infrastructures, also faced with natural disasters, and left to wallow in their plight at one point might forcefully, look for greener pastures, fight for resources, and cause friction amongst the ailing population”.

The group said the Zamfara State government has not been responsive and urged its officials to speed up the “certain bureaucracy in government that is delaying the relocation of Gutsura”.

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