Former Aides of Ex-Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai Defend Against Allegations of Financial Mismanagement

In a robust defense against allegations of financial mismanagement, former aides of ex-Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, have stated that the current administration under Governor Uba Sani is benefiting from various foreign loans facilitated by the previous government. The ex-officials dismissed claims that El-Rufai’s government had mismanaged N423 billion in state funds and prematurely drawn down on these loans before leaving office in May 2023.

The allegations of mismanagement and financial improprieties were part of the findings of an ad hoc committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly. The committee’s report suggested that El-Rufai and his appointees siphoned state funds and recommended that they be referred to relevant security agencies for investigation. Following these recommendations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) set up a panel to investigate the alleged fraud.

Joint Statement by Former Commissioners

In a detailed statement issued on Tuesday, several former commissioners under El-Rufai’s administration provided a comprehensive rebuttal to the allegations. The statement was signed by former Commissioner of Environment, Jafaru Sani, alongside Hafsat Baba (ex-commissioner, Ministry of Human Services), Thomas Gyang (Public Works and Infrastructure), Bashir Saidu (Ministry of Finance), Ibrahim Husaini (Ministry of Agriculture), Aisha Dikko (Ministry of Justice), Fausat Ibikunle (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development), and Idris Nyam (Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Technology).

The former officials described the accusations as unfair and irresponsible. They emphasized that the loans in question were part of strategic efforts to develop the state and that many had yet to be disbursed by the time the El-Rufai administration left office.

Specific Loans and Their Status

The statement provided specific details about several loans, contesting the assertions made in the probe report:

1.     Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project: A $280 million loan was negotiated but had not commenced disbursement by May 2023.

2.     Kaduna Special Agro-Processing Zone: A $150 million loan from the African Development Bank was mentioned, but the disbursement had not started when El-Rufai left office.

3.     Kaduna Bus Rapid Transport System: Contrary to the probe report, it was the French Development Agency, not the African Development Bank, that provided the $130.7 million loan. No funds were disbursed before the administration’s exit.

4.     Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project: A $20 million loan was facilitated but is being drawn down by the Sani administration.

5.     Reaching-Out-of-School Children Project: A $62.8 million loan was also being utilized by the current administration.

The former commissioners argued that the report misrepresented the status of several loans, suggesting that they were fully disbursed when they were only partially so. For instance, only $2 million of the ACReSAL loan for Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes was disbursed before May 2023, leaving the remainder for the succeeding government.

Projects and Achievements

The statement also highlighted the achievements and the judicious use of the funds during El-Rufai’s tenure. For example, the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) saw only $23.88 million disbursed by May 2023, contrary to the $280 million stated in the report. This initiative funded significant renovations in schools and accelerated life skills programs, earning accolades for its efficient implementation.

Additionally, $352,855 was disbursed for the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene program in June 2023, after El-Rufai had left office. These clarifications aimed to demonstrate that the previous administration had laid the groundwork for development projects that the current administration is now implementing.

Response to Mismanagement Allegations

The former aides expressed dismay over the mismanagement allegations, stressing that they were baseless and politically motivated. They reiterated that the El-Rufai administration was committed to transparency and development, as evidenced by the careful planning and execution of numerous projects across the state.

They also pointed out that the loans were negotiated as part of a long-term strategy to improve infrastructure and services in Kaduna State. The focus was on creating sustainable development projects that would continue to benefit the state beyond the tenure of any single administration.

Call for Fairness

In their defence, the former officials called for fairness and a more balanced assessment of their tenure. They urged the current administration and the public to recognize the foundational work done by the El-Rufai government, which they believe is now bearing fruit under Governor Uba Sani.

They also expressed confidence that the ongoing investigations by the EFCC would ultimately vindicate them, showing that the allegations of financial mismanagement were unfounded.

Broader Implications

This controversy underscores the challenges of continuity in governance, particularly in managing long-term development projects and loans. The political tension between successive administrations often leads to disputes over the legitimacy and execution of projects initiated by predecessors.

The case also highlights the critical role of transparency and accountability in public administration. Effective communication and clear documentation of financial transactions and project implementations are essential to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that developmental goals are met without partisan interference.


The defence put forward by the former aides of Nasir El-Rufai presents a detailed counter-narrative to the allegations of financial mismanagement. As the investigations by the EFCC proceed, it remains to be seen how these claims will be adjudicated and what impact this will have on the political and administrative landscape of Kaduna State.

The case serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in governance, the importance of maintaining continuity in development efforts, and the need for a balanced approach to evaluating the performance of public officials. #Corruption #El-Rufai #TrendingNews #Bulletin1247 #news #newsheadlings #investigations

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