‘N1.6bn interest paying LG salaries, scholarships’
From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
JIGAWA Governor, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar has confirmed speculations that the state government fixed N19 billion with one of the banks in the state.
The governor had earlier been accused of misappropriating monies, which accrued to the state, comprising the Budget Support Fund from the Federal Government, the Paris Club debt refund and also, diverting up to N19 billion carried forward from the 2016 fiscal year to 2017.
During commissioning of Roni-Gada Road in the state, yesterday, Abubakar said: “They are accusing us of depositing monies in a fixed deposit account because they are not pleased we didn’t place the money inbanks that would assist them in embezzling the funds.
“We placed the money in safe hands and from the interest, we were able to generate N1.6 billion in 20 months from the fixed deposit account which we used in paying N700 million scholarship for our students.
“From the same savings, we were also able to pay local governments salaries, from January last year till date, of which, before then, we found it extremely difficult to do so.”
Governor Abubakar also said his administration will not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor, in extravagant misused of public treasury.
He accused the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership of “lacking foresightand knowledge to save against the economic downturn in the country” and assured that his administration “will not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor where public funds were extravagantly misused when the state was in economic affluence.
He added that public treasury “is a sacred trust that can’t be tampered or be misused. “Without judiciously managing public money, Jigawa could have fallen among states that are unable to pay workers salary and pension to retirees.
According to the governor, “the 49-kilometer access road project in Roni was awarded by the previous administration, and contractors were paid only 15 percent mobilisationdespite state affluence during that time.
“Now, this administration completed the project with complete payment of 85 percent of the mobilisation, which stood at over N5billion put together.”
The governor maintained that without frugality, the state will not be able to finance over 1,000 kilometres of road network; both inherited and newly-awarded, which are all ongoing projects.
Abubakar also explained that the state’s recurrent expenditure keeps rising while the monthly allocation dwindled in previous months, “without cutting down the cost of governance, the state would not be able to pay even senior secondary schools examination dues and students scholarship which stands at over N1 billion.”