FROM: PAUL ORUDE, BAUCHI
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has revealed that he spent about N5.1 billion monthly for payment of the salary of civil servants in the state, leaving the state coffers with little to run government businesses.
Governor Abubakar made the disclosure when he received a delegation of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) executives, led by its Chairman Ibrahim Mallam Goje, on a courtesy call at the Government House, Bauchi, on Tuesday.
He said: “I can count how many times I collected over 5.1b as federal allocation. In the last 27 months, I did not collect N5b more than 5 months and despite this, we are paying N2.6b to state civil servants and N2.5 billion to Local government workers which amount to N5.1b.
“I can boast that I have performed more than other governors that collect federal allocation more than Bauchi state because despite the paucity of funds in our disposal, we have paid salary up till date without owning any civil servants or pensioners.
“I want to challenge my critics to check what I am getting and compare what I am doing in the state and I want to assure that will keep doing better to improve the living standard of our people.”
The governor also replied critics who labeled him a ‘non-performer’, boasting that his administration had done better than most of his counterparts in other states in terms of performance in the past two years.
The governor described those criticising his administration as lacking in ideas on how governance is conducted.
He explained that despite paucity of funds and an empty treasury his administration inherited, he had been able to perform more than several other governors in Nigeria.
The Governor cautioned media practitioners against reporting issues that is against journalism ethics.
He said: “As media practitioners, you have a lot of responsibility to report issues of governance correctly.
“You should not be partisan as journalists because you do not belong to a political party so you are supposed to report the truth”.
He reiterated the support of his administration to support and partner with working journalists in the state.
Speaking earlier, the state NUJ Chairman commended the governor for the achievement recorded by his administration in the last two years, especially his commitment renewal of oil exploration in the state.
Mallam Goje then urged the governor to improve the welfare of staff of state-owned media organisations as well as provide sporting facilities at the NUJ secretariat in the state capital.