There is a crack within the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Secretariat in Abuja, as top officials of the forum are at daggers drawn over alleged financial fraud and recklessness.
This has triggered a letter to the NGF chairman and Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, by the NGF Director, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.
Barkindo in a leaked letter addressed to Governor AbdulRasaq and sighted by our correspondent, opened a can of worms on the running of the secretariat, saying the NGF is now more transactional than developmental.
He stressed that it is not an agent of change but “a conduit pipe for a few individuals”, and demanded a forensic audit of all the NGF accounts including those that were opened during crises periods to avoid the “prying eyes of governors in the name of NIGOFO among others.”
Barkindo said the NGF accounts had not been audited for 10 years or more, stressing that a few individuals had turned the Forum and its finances into their personal fiefdom.
The letter reads in part, “The secretariat’s accounts have not been audited in the last decade to say the least, that even the phony auditors invited to mock the auditing process have at various times confessed that the job they are doing for the secretariat is a wash.
“Has anyone ever wondered why an institution that midwife’s huge monetary deals like the Paris-London refunds does not have a qualified accountant? In an organisation that makes over three billion Naira annually, the total annual income of its entire staff is seventy million naira. Staff of the Forum are always asking where all the money goes. There is a staff that earns N20,000 a month ($20.)
“There are instances. The N630m deductions from the N5bn infrastructure support fund which ended in a shouting bout among governors while you are chairman was a deliberate ploy to make you look bad among your colleagues.
“The secretariat did not brief you adequately. Their instructions from their master’s house, across the street, was to set booby traps and obstacles in your path. I am a witness. On the Paris-London Club transaction which the NGF midwifed, the NGF made close to N19bn out of which the staff of the NGF were to be rewarded with N850m by the Chairman of the Forum, at the time Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar of Zamfara State.
“In my opinion, the NGF requires a forensic audit of all its accounts including those that were opened during crises periods to avoid the prying eyes of governors in the name of NIGOFO among others.”