By Ibrahim Sheriff (Gold)
On March 29, 2020, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, as part of efforts to rally support for the State’s campaign to keep Coronavirus (COVID-19) out of Kwara state, claimed he donated his 100% salaries since May 29, 2019 (10 months) to fight against COVID-19.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaiye, AbdulRazaq said “This time calls for sacrifice from everyone as humanity needs all the help it can get. For this reason, I am hereby donating 100% of my monthly salary since May 29, 2019 when I was sworn in to our efforts to prevent this virus from getting to us, provide palliatives to our people, as well as boost our capacity to cope if it ever comes.”
However, in an interview by the Governor published on This Day Newspaper on October 17th, 2021, AbdulRazaq said he is yet to draw his salaries, but he is willing to take it now that it has accumulated a bit.
AbdulRazaq also note that he filled out forms for the purpose of drawing his salaries two (2) weeks ago and awaiting biometrics, because he has to pay some forms of tax and also satisfy some official necessities.
In his words, “I originally never had a bank account here, until now. I’ve never worked for anybody or drawn a salary from anywhere, up to now. I’m processing my salary. I filled out the forms two weeks ago, and I will do the biometrics because it is essential. How do you explain the tax gap for four years? I have to pay some sort of tax. You have to bring your bank statement and say, I was in this office, and so on. Even if you don’t want it, the system is such that you have to take it. It’s not like I don’t want it. The process is going on. I haven’t taken it yet, but I will take it. I’ll take it because it’s about N1million per month. Now, it has accumulated a bit.”
The submissions of Gov. AbdulRazaq in This Day’s interview with respect to his salaries indicates he does not make any donation to the State COVID-19 fund in March 2020, because according to the Governor, he has no Nigerian bank account to which his salaries could be paid for onward authorization and payment into the State COVID-19 fund.
It is also noted that if the claim of the Governor that he is yet to complete documentations that enable his access to his monthly salaries is anything to go by, there was no way he would have power to authorize payment of salaries he never satisfied conditions to receive.
A check on the list of COVID-19 donors published on Kwara state government website also revealed that Gov. AbdulRazaq did not donate any money to the Kwara state COVID-19 fund.
AbdulRazaq’s name is missing among the donors to the COVID-19 funds to Kwara state government, while there is also no single donation of Ten (10) million Naira which the Governor’s salaries for 10months should amount to, going by his claim of earning about a million Naira monthly salary.
It is therefore concluded that the widely publicized donation of Gov. AbdulRazaq’s 100% salaries to the State COVID-19 fund is false because he is yet to satisfy conditions to draw same from government purse and his name was not also include on the COVID-19 fund donors to Kwara state.