Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Adamawa State Governor-elect, Ahmadu, Umaru Fintiri, has issued a stern warning that his government would not hesitate to step on toes in order to reverse the misnomer and maladministration of the past government in the course of revamping the fortunes of the state.
Fintiri lamented that there was evidence of gross financial misconduct in the past by the outgoing government as the report of the transition committee had shown that the outgoing government which received about N332 billion in the last four years, had to borrow monthly to pay salaries.
Fintiri made the remarks on Saturday, while receiving the report of the Adamawa Transition Committee, in Yola, Adamawa State.
Fintiri said: “I have not been under any illusion on the enormity of the task before me.
“Concerned people of Adamawa have publicly and privately expressed concern on how government has been abused in the state and it is now clear from this report as to the extent to which that has been done.
“We will not hesitate to step on any toes in the interest of the public and in the service of the people of Adamawa State.
“I know my job is well cut out, and I am equal to the task.
“We will not turn a blind eye to mismanagement of funds and abuse of power.”
The incoming governor promised that his government would study the report and that the report would serve as a guide book in redesigning the future of the state by his government.
While presenting the report, the chairman of the Adamawa State Transition Committee, Ismaila Numan, indicted the Bindow-led government of gross financial misconduct and embezzlement of public funds.
Ismaila said: “The government had received a total income of N257,492,080,702.37 between 2015 and March 2019; it had, nonetheless, from the outset always been taking over-draft to augment salary payment.
“Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) was being collected but not applied judiciously in the interest of taxpayers in the state.”
He explained that “from inception, the government had also failed to create businesses for the state, rather, it resorted to the sales of state-owned assets in corporate organisations simply to service personal interest.
“Monies and allocations which should have been used to address the provision of basic services, such as potable water, education, health and housing, were simply not available while the combined total debt that accumulated over the last four years in external and domestic loans stand at a whopping N115 billion as at today; of this, N97 billion is owed by the state.”
Breaking down the alleged financial scandal surrounding the outgoing government, he said; “This sum comprises outstanding contractor claims to the tune of N22.3billion, arrears of pension, gratuity and death benefits, which total N16.4 billion, and salary arrears and other staff claims, which amount to a total of N2.7billion.
“On their part, the state’s local government councils owed N18billion, consisting of outstanding contract claims of N8.9billion; salary arrears and staff claims of N5.6 billion, a gratuity of N1.2billion and overdraft of N3.0billion (which might have been settled by now). “
The committee explained that “there were exceptional revenues that accrued in the last four years amounting to over N75 billion comprising a bailout fund of N9.6billion, FGN Bond of N11.7 billion, NNPC refund of N31.7 billion and Paris Club Refund of N21.6 billion which might not be available in this dispensation. “
The committee pointed out that the gross financial misconduct had affected various ministries and parastatals including health, education, agriculture, among other ministries and recommend the immediate declaration of the state of emergencies in these ministries to address the decay in the state.