Kwara Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that if not for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he would have inherited an empty treasury.
The anti-graft agency froze the account of the state government on the eve of his inauguration.
AbdulRazaq stated this at the International Anti Corruption Day Rally organised by the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Office in Ilorin, the state capital on Monday.
Part of the amount recovered from the past administration includes N4.8bn tax refund which the governor said Kwara sate’s cash reserve.
“We have not touched it. It will be used to balance the budget for next year. It will be invested in our schools, road infrastructure, among others.
“We thank the Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC for the recoveries they’ve made. When we came into power, there would have been nothing to inherit. The past government told us that they left a debt of N30bn but so far we are looking at the debt of almost N100bn.
“We don’t see this march as that of the law enforcement agency (alone). It is a march for everybody and the important message for all of us is, if we don’t kill corruption, it will kill all of us,” he said.
AbdulRazaq pointed that corruption is detrimental to the socio-economic development of any society as it reduces the government’s capacity to deliver on campaign promises.
“Corruption is killing us in our schools and hospitals; it hinders infrastructural development. It is therefore important that we work hand in hand with the anti-corruption agencies and be part of the processes to develop our society,” he said.
While thanking the EFCC for the recent recovery of N111m from some past government officials, AbdulRazaq also said whatever recoveries made from the ongoing probe of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) would be invested to secure the future of Kwarans, especially through the upcoming Social Investment Programme.
While assuring the anti-graft body of maximum support for its operations in the state, AbdulRazaq urged Kwarans to continue to support the anti-corruption drive of the Muhammadu Buhari administration as part of the overall strategy to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking, Zonal Head of EFCC in Ilorin Isyaku Sharu said the body has recovered over 10 properties and cash worth over N3.6bn from “treasury looters” in Kwara State since February when it began operation in the state.
“These properties include two in Ikoyi, one in Lekki and the recent one is over one billion naira worth houses in GRA, Ilorin.
“It is pertinent to know that at the eve of the last handover, the commission saved the Kwara State Government over N4bn of tax refund. Currently, ongoing investigation into the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service led to the recovery of about N50m while efforts are in top gear to recover the remaining of about N4bn from some notable individuals fingered in the KWIRS saga.”