Dauda Lawal, the governor of Zamfara State, has denied the untrue allegation that he spent more than N400 million traveling overseas.
Within three months, Governor Lawal spent N170,276,294.31 on foreign travel and transportation, N221,567,094 on local travel, and N6,929,500.00 on private security, according to an online newspaper
However, a statement released on Thursday by Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor’s spokeswoman, said that the tale was purposefully made up by pranksters in order to divert attention away from the state administration.
The information on the First, Second, and Third Quarters pertains to the immediate previous administration of Governor Bello Matawalle, he clarified, adding that the error originated from a purposeful misreading of budget data on the official website of the Zamfara State government.
“We read a report alleging that Governor Dauda Lawal spent over N400 million on foreign trips. This is false and an attempt to tarnish the governor’s image.
“The principles of transparency and accountability are the foundation of Governor Dauda Lawal’s government. All relevant information can be found on the official website of the Zamfara State Government at zamfara.gov.ng.
“Published on the official website is a detailed report on the budget performance, which provides a breakdown of the Governor’s spending on trips and other activities. Under Governor Dauda Lawal, we have implemented a system of complete transparency and accountability, leaving no room for misuse of funds.
“It is therefore important to clarify that Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has only undertaken three official foreign trips since he assumed office on May 29, 2023. The three foreign trips were: attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United States of America; a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Retreat in Kigali, Rwanda; and a meeting with the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
“Furthermore, the retreat in Kigali was organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum and fully sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). So, no money was spent by the government on that. The only money spent on foreign trips was for the UNGA in the United States, and the Northwest Governor’s Meeting with the President of AfDB in Abidjan.”
The statement noted that: “The report erroneously attributed the money spent by the previous administration to our government’s spending. Our government has never employed private security services, nor have we witnessed any Ramadan period. Therefore, we are puzzled about how the funding for the Ramadan Fasting and Eid-el-Fitr (Sallah) gifts was attributed to us.
“As a government, we are committed to maintaining transparency in all our governance activities. We promised the people of Zamfara State to bring about positive change, and we are determined to fulfil that promise. Our administration’s rescue mission is comprehensive and covers all aspects of governance. We will not be deterred or slowed down by any misinformation.”
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