Sunday, 25 October 2015

How Kwankwaso spent N4.1billion pension fund

Houses pensioners can’t afford – Official

The immediate past Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, spent N4.1 billion of pensioners’ funds building houses the retired workers could not afford, an official has said.

The Kano State Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Garba, stated this on a Hausa discussion programme on Freedom Radio on Saturday evening.

Mr. Garba said the ex-governor, now Senator, borrowed the N4.161 billion from the pension fund to build Bandirawo and Amana Housing Estates with the aim that the pensioners could benefit from the houses.

He added that when the project was completed, the government realized pensioners could not afford housing units in the estates because of the cost.

In a state where the minimum wage is below N20,000, the commissioner explained that the least expensive house in the estates was sold for N17 million; with others sold for N18 million, N34 million and N38 million respectively.

“When the former governor realized that the houses are too expensive for a pensioner to occupy, he directed that 50 per cent of the price of the houses should be slashed,” the commissioner said.

“That is how these houses are being sold now, and despite the 50 percent discount, the price is still high.

“The government initially thought that the pensioners could afford the houses, that is the truth,” he added in defense of the previous administration under which the current governor, Umaru Ganduje, served as deputy governor.

Mr. Garba said to resolve the complaints of the pensioners, many of who have not been paid their entitlements because of the former administration’s actions, the government had a meeting with the retired workers where it was agreed that a number of housing units in the estates would be allocated to them as part of their entitlements.