Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has denied awarding contracts to members of his family, friends and close government officials. He described the allegations as false.
There were online reports that the governor awarded contracts to his wife, children and top government officials without due process.
But the governor reiterated there was no N3 billion drainage contract, neither was he and his family, nor senior government officials involved in sharing contracts or using fronts.
El-Rufai, in a statement by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, said his government stopped one of its agencies going rogue on the drainage works, stopped the project, reviewed it and took disciplinary action.
The statement reads: “Upon review of the state of the projects, the government had not paid anything beyond the N119.2 million expended prior to suspension of the drainage project. Investigations have verified further outstanding payments of N626 million.
“It is regrettable that actions taken to prime our local economy, through public works executed in small lots, and drawing in many of our citizens, is now being used to scandalise the government and prominent citizens.
“The government is thorough about advertising its contracts. Its tenders are regularly published in newspapers. In 2016, the government published 72 adverts for tenders and employment opportunities. Thus far this year, we have advertised 19 tenders and vacancies. The default mode for the government is a rigorous insistence on open, competitive tendering. But not every contract meets the threshold for this. The Public Procurement Law of the state requires that only contracts above N5 million be advertised.
“The government and its leadership do not use fronts or engage in violations of its public procurement regulations. The online media is being unduly sensational. In alleging the use of fronts, it obviously escaped the blog to interrogate if anybody, intending to use fronts, will actually put down their names or offices next to the contracts. Even for a blog that claims it is not bound by the journalistic obligation to verify its assertions, this is unfortunate…”
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