After the Stallion Times investigation, Eng. Musa Balabare of the Kano State Ministry of Works reacted to the money paid into his personal bank accounts by the contractor of the constituency projects in the Bichi Local Government Area.
In a stallion Times investigative story on ‘How How Non-payment of Over 40 million Stalls Constituency Projects in Kano,’ SOA Alkawari Nig Ltd., revealed that some payments were made to facilitators of the contract for the construction of constituency projects at Bindawa Primary School and Yanbundu Primary School in Bichi LGA.
The contractor also disclosed that despite paying the amount, the facilitators of the constituency project in Bichi, Engr. Musa Balarabe also received the sum of N704,305.00 (Seven Hundred and four Thousand, three hundred and five Naira) only on 28/11/2019.
The payment was made by SOA Alkawari’s Ltd., through Union Bank Account at Hotoro Branch to Engr. Musa Balarabe’s personal account with First Bank. The reference number of the transaction is 162442127682.
Again, on 27/11/2019 SOA Alkawari Ltd. paid the sum of N575,409.00 (Five Hundred and Seventy-Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Nine Naira) only to Engr. Musa Balarabe’s Account via First Bank with the reference number 150656717787.
Engr. Musa Balarabe Reacts to Facilitators Fee
Engr. Musa Balarabe works with the Building and Estate Department at the Kano State Ministry of Works, Housing, and Transportation.
Reacting to the separate payments of facilitators fees using his personal account amounting to over N1.2 million by SOA Alkawari Ltd., for the Bichi Constituency project (construction of classroom block in Bindawa and Yanbundu villages), he disclosed that “I am a supervisor who oversees contractors’ projects from the Kano State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transportation.
“I don’t know how he (SOA Alkawari Nig, Ltd) secured the constituency project in Bunkure, but as a supervisor, I only did possession of the site for SOA Alkawari.
Engr. Balarabe explained how he got involved.
“The Coordinator of the constituency projects in Bunkure LGA, Late Bello Getso told me that he had visited the site in Bunkure, and due to some errors in the construction work being executed by the contractor, he advised the contractor (SOA Alkawari Ltd) that an engineer should be engaged.
“Late Getso introduced me to SOA Alkawari Ltd and they decided that I should be their personal engineer. They engaged and paid me. That was the agreement I had with them, unfortunately, the deal was not documented.
He however said the agreement was verbal and he to consent to it based on mutual understanding.
Engr. Balarabe insisted that though SOA Alkawari Ltd., projects in Bunkure LGA met the required standard, he never was the facilitator of the contract.
He narrated that it was after the Bunkure contract that SOA Alkawari asked him to help them secure other projects.
“Immediately I connected them with one Alh. Yahaya a staff of ASASCO Nigeria Ltd (the original owners of the Bichi constituency project), through him, bought the Bichi contract from ASASCO Nig. Ltd., for the construction of two blocks of classrooms at Bindawa Primary School at the sum of N11,340,568.39 million and another one at Yanbundu Primary School at a sum of N5,975,752.56 million.
“So the contractor (SOA Alkawari Ltd) said that they need to appreciate us; that is the money he paid to all of us using my personal bank accounts.
“It was agreed that the money will be paid to all the facilitators of the contract from ASASCO Nigeria Ltd to SOA Alkawari Ltd using my personal bank account details based on mutual trust and to secure the cash.
“After I received the money, we shared it with Sa’ad, Osama, and one Arch. Salisu of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transportation, and Alh. Yahaya of ASASCO Nigeria Ltd,.”
Engr. Balarabe also noted that if a sub-contractor buys a project, he usually pays the facilitator’s fee; that was the money I benefited from.
Adding that for the payment of SOA Alkawari’s project in Bunkure, the ministry paid him with vouchers after we did a site inspection and certified that his work has been completed 100%.
“However, the Ministry of Works is not responsible for the payment of contractors; it is the Kano State Ministry of Finance that makes the payment,” he added.
Speaking with Alh. Yahaya who Engr. Balarabe introduced to SOA Alkawari Ltd in a telephone conversation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he acknowledged getting a meager amount from the facilitation agreement fee for the constituency project in Bichi through a staff of ASASCO Nigeria Ltd; he did not state the amount but denied getting any money from Engr. Balarabe Musa.
Alh. Yahaya also denied knowledge of any business transaction regarding the constituency project in Bunkure LGA.
This publication is produced with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project (CMEDIA) funded by MacArthur.