Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State says the government spends over N456 million annually to provide free portable water to its residents.
Matawalle made the disclosure on Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Gusau, the state capital, while speaking to newsmen on the challenges facing his administration.
He said: “We spend N38 million monthly on the purchase of diesel alone to fuel our engines at the water board and then, you need to consider chemicals required for water treatment.
“With all these forces, the state government transmits water free of charge to the people because once you introduce any water tariff now, many people will say you don’t like them.
“It is very difficult to introduce taxes in Zamfara, unlike other states where there are various forms of taxes in place which help in raising the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) status of such states, used in meeting the yearnings of the people and ease governance.”
The governor said that his administration had discovered a cartel of some staff of the revenue board who allegedly produced their personal receipts and other documents in order to steal the state’s IGR.
“We have arrested over 30 persons allegedly involved in this scam and investigations are still ongoing to dislodge all those involved so that we can get such misappropriated funds and channel them into projects and programmes that have direct bearing on our people,” he said.
While speaking on the recent arrest of two Chinese nationals who allegedly tried to bribe the Sokoto Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with N100 million to truncate an ongoing multi billion naira Zamfara rural electrification project, Matawalle said he had been vindicated.
“Those who said we were acting on political grounds and differences over this scandalous electrification project can now see through this alleged bribery of N100 million,” he said.
By Abubakar Ahmed