Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday said his administration would partner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to combat graft, including recovering funds looted from the state treasury.
AbdulRazaq said corruption had almost crippled Kwara when he took over on May 29, lamenting how the N2billion the state accessed to boost small scale businesses was diverted and shared by some persons.
According to the Governor, this meant that the state government would now have N35m deducted from its account every month.
“I got a letter (last week) from the Federal Ministry of Finance saying they will now deduct N35m every month from our account because the state government, a few years ago, took N2bn for small and medium scale businesses,” AbdulRazaq said at a stakeholders’ forum in Ilorin, the state capital, on value reorientation and the fight against corruption.
The event was organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency.
The Governor said he contemplated asking the ministry to compile the names of individuals who siphoned the money so they could be made to refund it, adding however that he was glad at the proactive steps the EFCC has taken to recover the money.
AbdulRazaq said he would not tolerate diversion of public funds under his watch, recalling how corruption had led to the collapse of basic amenities in the hospitals, schools, and other sectors of the economy.
The Governor lamented that the state has missed out on several development initiatives because of corruption, citing the example of the diversion of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) funds, the resultant blacklisting of the state on account of that, and the effect on the state of basic education in Kwara.
He added that the state under him has normalised relations with UBEC and would soon, on paying its own counterpart funds, access money that would help reposition the sector.
Speaking earlier at the programme, the EFCC Zonal Head in Kwara State, Isyaku Sharu, called for reorientation of the populace on the menace of corruption.
“Can we overemphasise the role of our parents/guardians in these regards? I state no. In fact, a critical aspect of the need for value reorientation rests heavily on parental/guardian roles. The home, being the first point of contact of a child, is the factory house for building positive values in a child,” he said.
“Sadly, however, most parents/guardians are now being found wanting in this all-important responsibility wherein they usually concentrate more efforts on their jobs or businesses or the struggle to make ends meet,” Sharu said.