Despite ceaselessly advertising himself as an apostle of due process and transparency, revelations have now emerged that Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna state, has been running an opaque contract award system in the state.
Documents exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters show that the lack of transparency in contract awards is characterized by blunt refusal to advertise bids, as required by the Procurement Act; contract splitting, cornering of contracts through fronts-by members of el-Rufai’s family, cronies and officials of his government.
The opaqueness, SaharaReporters discovered, was boldly evident in the award and execution of contracts for the rehabilitation of existing drainages in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Zaria local government areas of the state.
To go round, the contracts, evidence showed, were split into desilting and excavation in clear violation of due process regulations. They were also never advertised, as required by the Procurement Act.
Instead, Governor el-Rufai’s government, after breaking the contract into bits, awarded them to members of his family, including his wife and children, personal staff, friends and members of the House of Assembly, who used fronts to execute them. Currently, many of the drainage contracts have been abandoned, with the governor and the state legislature unable to move against the contractors because the jobs were awarded on sweetheart basis.
Among the beneficiaries was Air Vice-Marshal Aliyu el-Rufa’i, the governor’s brother, who was awarded five contracts. Documents obtained by SaharaReporters listed him as the sponsor of Sumadex Nigeria Limited, Digimic Ventures, Gambari Visions Limited, Concept Construction and Engineering Limited as well as Elab Solution Provider. Also on the list is a woman captured as Aunty Asabe, who got two contracts through J-F Haam Investment Limited. A man captured as Uncle Idi also got a contract via Danshanono Investment Limited.
One of the governor’s wives, captured as Her Excellency in the contract document, was awarded a contract through Khairun Nas Nigeria Limited. Other members of the el-Rufa’i family awarded contracts are Ahmed el-Rufa’i, who got contract through Bafe4 Investment Limited, and Aisha el-Rufa’i, who got the contract for Ghana Road through Mohsal Global Concept.
Mr. Yusuf Barnabas Bala, Mr. el-Rufai’s deputy, was awarded 13 contracts through Ojo Limmy Nigeria Limited, Maronian Nigeria Limited, Folarc Design Partners, Home Vestors Limited, Habi Moulds Limited, Golden Powers Nigeria Limited, Zamsnunom Enterprises Limited, Mustras International Limited, Nerat and Partners Limited, James Wagner and Partners Limited and De-Raheems Concept Limited.
Also featuring strongly at the contract buffet table are the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Balarabe Abbas Lawal who, alone, was awarded a contract through Bogbento International Limited. He was awarded five others in conjunction with different people through separate companies. In the contract awarded to Dan Magaji Crown Nigeria Limited, the SSG had, as partner, Mr. Abubakar Rilwanu. For the one awarded to Bel-Mod International Limited, he had Alhaji Dalha as a partner. For the one awarded to Faida Engineering Services, he partnered with one Mr. Bello. In the contracts awarded to Shumfaza Ventures Nigeria Limited and Unasalim Nigeria Limited, he partnered with one Shuaibu and Yusuf Balarabe Kabau respectively.
Equally prominent in the contract bazaar are the Chairman, and Director-General of the Kaduna State Due Process Office. Between then, they got eight contracts, with three going to the former and five to the latter. The Majority Leader of the Kaduna State House of Assembly was awarded 10 contracts, including the one for Mai Anguwa Road, Kalala. The member of the House representing Tudun Wada Constituency won five. The House Speaker’s name featured in 14 contracts. One Honourable Ilya Sawa was awarded 10.
The Executive Secretary of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) was awarded 18 contracts via different fronts for which he posed as sponsors.
A woman identified as Hadiza, also of KADIPA, was awarded five through the same number of companies. One man captured as Hafiz, the documents showed, got six contracts through different companies. Mr. el-Rufai’s Deputy Chief of Staff walked off with a bounty of eight contracts, with his Chief Security Officer bagging three. The Political Adviser to the governor is listed as the biggest beneficiary, bagging a total of 33 contracts through different companies. These include contracts for Coronation Road, Jaji Road in Malali, Mohammed Yusuf Lere Drive, Ibiyeye Road, School Road and Accra Road, Unguwar Rimi.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Economic Matters bagged four contracts, the same number awarded to Mr. el-Rufai’s Special Assistant on Creative Arts. The Special Adviser on Youth Matters bagged 10. A man named Ali Chakis walked off with eight, and Chairman of the Kaduna State Inland Revenue Service (KADIRS).
In total, 282 contracts were awarded, with many said to be in various stages of abandonment and for which the government is unable to insist on getting them completed because they were awarded to its officials, the governor’s family, and friends.