Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution has said it was sad and disheartening that the Kogi State government has been taking the issue of corruption with levity, saying the Governor Yahaya Bello administration could not account for the huge allocations and several interventions it collected in the last four years.
It said it was worrisome that the government still refused to change its lacklustre attitude towards corruption even when the National Bureau of Statistics ranked the state as the most corrupt in the federation, and Lokoja, the state capital, as the dirtiest and least developed.
The Executive Director CHRCR Idris’ Abdul Miliki stated this on Tuesday at the 6th Quarterly Review meeting organised for Media and CSO on Anti Corruption, Transparency and Accountability, in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’adua foundation held at the NUJ press centre Lokoja.
Miliki, who said the government lacks accountability, described as unacceptable for the state administration to gulp about 48% of the total estimated budget for 2020 when in a real sense it was not generating any revenue to the state
He said governance in the state is highly corrupted as the citizens are left groping in pain and penury as social amenities are not been fixed while health and educational institutions and road facilities are in the poorest state.
Miliki urged the media and civil society organisations to be courageous enough in carrying out an in-depth analysis of the odds in the state and to help in instilling accountability and good governance, wondering why the state government has failed to constitute the State Independent Electoral Commission for the conduct of local government elections.
Miliki pointed out that in spite of the several billions of naira accrued to both the state and local government, the issues of accountability, transparency and openness in governance, especially in the budgeting process, was nill and called for the holistic inclusion and participation of citizens on issues that border on governance in the state
The Executive Director described the 2020 Kogi budget as a photocopy of 2019 budget, lamenting that for an incoming administration expected to succeed itself in a few days, the budget did not make provisions for new items, but was a replica of the previous year.
Miliki urged the Kogi State House of Assembly to be responsible to the people and not to the executive arm of government, frowning at the rubber stamp character of the present lawmakers who could not add or subtract from the budget presented to them in 2020.
He frowned also at the conduct of the Assembly members which, he said, portray them as an appendage of the executive, as he urged them to live up to the expectations of those who elected them into office.