The Zamfara State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Abdulmalik Gajam, has accused the immediate former governor of the state, Bello Matawalle, of misappropriating the state’s resources during his tenure.
In a video interview, Gajam highlighted significant neglect in essential sectors such as water, health, education, and the economy under Matawalle’s leadership but said that Matawalle, who is now the Minister of State Defence, spent as much as N50 million on massage chairs
Gajam referenced statistics from Analysts Data Services and Resources (ADSR), indicating Zamfara State ranked poorly among other Nigerian states.
According to the data, Zamfara fared poorly in economic output, importation, business competition, industrialization, healthcare, education, and ICT, ranking at or near the bottom across these sectors.
“We met Zamfara State in security crisis. When we talk about economic output, Zamfara is 32 out of 37. Importation, Zamfara is 32 out of 37, business competition and industrialization, Zamfara is 35 over 37.
“When we talk about healthcare, Zamfara is 26 out of 37, when we talk about education, Zamfara is 30 out of 37. When we talk about ICT, Zamfara is 34. This is based on the statistics that were done by ADSR, the scorecard of the Nigerian states.
“Overall, the average mark was 45 but Zamfara State was under 40. We were 36 over 37. That means we are last, we’re taking the Z status,” Mr Gajam said.
He said that the state is facing a debt servicing burden of over N30 billion, and the current administration has paid over N20 billion to date.
Furthermore, Gajam accused Matawalle’s administration of mishandling funds intended for healthcare services, resulting in a lack of equipment, manpower, planning, and policy in primary healthcare centres.
Mr Gajam accused Mr Matawalle’s administration of misappropriating money meant for healthcare services in the state.
“There is nothing to show in healthcare. Even those primary healthcare centres when you go around now you can’t even take animals into those structures. You built a primary healthcare centre with World Bank money and did substandard work. At the end of the day, there is no equipment, no manpower, there is no planning and no policy.
“We still have emergencies in Mafara Local Government, in Anka Local Government, children are dying of cholera.
“We don’t have a functioning education system. What will amaze you is the idea that the past administration spent three years without paying for WAEC or NECO for our students.
“The past administration spent more than 15 billion in naira in the Government House alone and now if you go to Zamfara State there is no government office that’s functioning; we’re even renovating them. They bought massage chairs of 50 – 50 million naira when people were hungry, when they were dying of insecurity and illiteracy and malnutrition,” he said.
The commissioner said Mr Matawalle also failed to construct roads. He said the former governor didn’t build any road as long as five kilometres in the four years he was in office.”
“The legacy the past governor left: he bought Hilux vehicles and dashed them away to bandits. The evidence is there. He was giving asylum to bandits in the Government House. People that killed…even in the barbaric era, there had never been a time where an Emir or a king would give asylum to somebody that kills people,” Mr Gajam added.
He highlighted the previous government’s failure to pay for WAEC or NECO examinations for students, spending over N15 billion in the Government House while essential government offices remained non-functional and under renovation.
Additionally, Gajam criticized the lack of road construction during Matawalle’s tenure, emphasizing that the former governor failed to build any road exceeding five kilometers. Gajam also alleged that the previous governor purchased Hilux vehicles and gave them to bandits, providing asylum to individuals involved in criminal activities.
These allegations depict a state of disarray and mismanagement during Matawalle’s governance, creating a situation where essential public services were severely neglected while financial resources were reportedly misused.