The Sokoto State government yesterday denied an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s interim report that N189 billion was allegedly diverted from the state’s coffers.
Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, of Sokoto State, Muhammad Bello, who described the media reports as false, said the government was ready “with all relevant documents to challenge any report from the EFCC or any other anti-corruption body on the public finances of Sokoto State.”
Bello, in a statement issued in Abuja, said; “Our attention has been drawn to reckless and provoking reports by some online new media about an alleged diversion of N189 Billion by the Sokoto State government. The reports cited a so-called EFCC interim report on Sokoto State. These media reports are false in all material particulars and should be completely disregarded.
“We alert the public that these media reports are products of orchestrated efforts by political hacks to taint the reputation of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who is a frontline aspirant for the 2023 PDP presidential ticket”.
He said the Sokoto State government had established a deserved reputation as the champion of budget transparency, fiscal responsibility and open governance.
“We have subscribed to the Open Government Partnership (OGP). It is noteworthy that in December 2020, the World Bank rated Sokoto as the number one State in Nigeria in fiscal transparency recognising Gov. Tambuwal’s unflinching commitment to the implementation of the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, (SFTAS), and for efforts to champion budgetary transparency in Nigeria. For this commitment, Sokoto State has received up to $34.1million as a special grant from the World Bank.
“Governor Tambuwal, in pursuit of fiscal responsibility and anti-corruption in management of public finance in Sokoto State, has created the State’s Bureau of Public Procurement and Private Partnership and Fiscal Responsibility Commission to review and investigate all public expenditure. The agencies are independent agencies established by law.
To further strengthen vertical and horizontal agencies of accountability in the state, Governor Tambuwal has signed a law granting the Offices of Auditor General in the state and local government councils in Sokoto State operational independence to investigate all records of public expenditure in Sokoto State”.