Kano: Shekarau Transfers Power To Kwankwaso, Says He Left State In Better Shape

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

KANO, May 29, (THEWILL) – After eight years at the helm of government in Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau (ANPP) Sunday transferred power to the Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the PDP amidst brewing controversies over the true financial status of the state.

Speaking at handover and swearing-in ceremony, which began at about 8.30 am, the outgoing Governor said his administration was leaving Kano State better than it met it.

While enumerating the achievements of his administration, Shekarau said the state government received an accumulated sum of about N497.2 billion as federal allocations in the last eight years, with internally generated revenue standing at N54.9 billion in the same period.

Despite the claims raised by the transition committee constituted by Kwankwaso that the outgoing government had bequeathed a whooping N77 billion liability to it, Shekarau revealed that his government was leaving behind a credit balance of about N4.6 billion and a cash book balance of N5 billion.

“With regards to government finances, the total cumulative receipts into government account as from May, 2003 to date, stood at N497.251, 837, 311.

“From this figure, internally generated revenue covering board of internal revenue and collections by other agencies amounted to the sum of N54, 963,018,202 billion.

"Most of the agencies operate on contract basis; revenues accruing to them are spent on their routine operations.

“It is important to highlight that the above receipts included the sum of $25,564 million dollars out of the claims of 202, 715 million dollars filed by Messrs. Global Trustees Consult Limited on behalf of the state government as amount wrongly deducted from the state government allocations in serving foreign loan.

“As at 27th May, 2011, the sum of $81,569 million has been reconciled with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the debt office and the Consultant and would be paid any moment from now.

“The consultant who was appointed in May, 2010, is entitled to 20% of recovered sum and contract fees as per the agreement signed between the state government and the consultant. Details of the agreement are contained in the handing over note,” Shekarau stated.

The outgoing Governor was however silent on the expenditure profile of the state in the last eight years, saying that the State Ministry of Finance would make available details of government expenditure later.

“On the expenditure side, total disbursements of funds to agencies, parastatals and ministries as well as all other sectors of government in both capital and recurrent expenditures would be provided in greater details by the state Ministry of Finance.

“It is also relevant to highlight that due to the exigencies of government, government maintains the following accounts; the State and Local Government Joint Account, Interest Account, where all monies accruing to the state accounts are accumulated into in dictate with the practice of Sharia; State and Local Government Project Account, Fixed Deposit Account, Treasury Account and EU Special Project Account.

“As at May 27th, 2011, there was a credit balance of N4, 361,905,917 and a cash book balance of N5, 932,341,273. Details are in the handing over note.

“The hand over documents contain details pertaining to the policy thrust of our administration, the financial report, the pension reforms, and above all, challenges and suggestions on the way forward.

“The hand over note is accompanied by reports from the various MDAs, which provided details of the numerous accomplishments, prospects and constraints. All other appendixes are kept in your office and we hope that the hand over note should provide all the information required by your Excellency in charting an enviable course for our dear state,” Shekarau added.

In his brief remark, the new Governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso shortly after receiving the hand over note from the outgoing Governor, promised to introduce policies and programmes that would enhance the living standard of the people of the state.

“I have to thank your Excellency for inviting me to come back after four years, unfortunately we couldn’t make it. Now I am back and it is better late than never. So what happened in the last eight years is a lesson for everyone to learn.

“Shekarau invited me to come back after four years, unfortunately, we couldn’t make it in four years, but today we are doing exactly what he said.

“I am happy to be back in Government House and we will introduce policies and programmes that would enhance the living standards of our people. All hands must be on deck to take Kano to greater heights,” kwankwaso stated.

Meanwhile, the sacred constitutional function was held amidst tight security, reinforced by officers and men of the Nigerian military, the police and other paramilitary organizations.

The security arrangement was unprecedented as residents of the ancient city woke up to see heavily armed security operatives mounting strategic locations in the city.

They were said to have been deployed as early as 4.30am, in what is seen as a deliberate move to forestall any attempt to disrupt the inaugural ceremony.

Tension had been building in the state since Kwankwaso of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the April 26, 2011 governorship election, with many non-natives fleeing their homes on the eve of the inaugural ceremony to avoid a repeat of the post Presidential election violence.

As at the time of filing this report, the entire state was calm with youths seen celebrating the swearing-in of Kwankwaso as governor again.