Niger State House of Assembly members have accused the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello of reckless spending of huge sums of money on perceived white elephant projects which they said, have added no values to the lives of the people of the state.
The criticism came when the state’s Legislators were discussing the 2020 Budget’s speech of the State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello during the first plenary session for the year 2020 at the Assembly chambers .
The Member, representing Borgu Constituency, Hon. Mohammed Abba Bala who led the deliberations said that with over N126billions, as the capital expenditure in the 2019 budget, there was nothing to show for it in the 25 local government areas of the state.
According to him, a lot of money has been spent as claimed by the Executive arm of government in the state, but the people did not get the value for the huge sums of money so far spent by the state government .
According to him, the sum of N126 billions was attained as capital expenditure in 2019, adding that looking at projects so far executed by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello- led administration across the state, especially in every local government areas of the state, that it left a lot to be desired.
The visibly angry Law Maker said, “with that amount, even if each local government gets N5millions worth of projects, the story we would have been telling the electorates here on the floor of the House, would have been different.
“A lot of monies was said to have been spent on roads and transport sectors of the economy, while there was nothing very significant to show for the huge sums of money that was said to have been spent by the government because from the look of things, no work was done to justify the spendings.
Take for instance, every part of the roads that money was said to have been spent, such as the Minna-Suleja road and the Minna-Bida road, the huge sums of money running into several billions of Naira that the state government claimed it has so far spent was not commensurate with the works done. The roads are still extremely in bad shape”, he lamented.
He further argued that If a lot of money was spent as claimed here by the Executive arm , I think there should have been a very significant result to justify the huge sums of money, it claimed to have been expended.
“But honestly, to me, it seems going by the claims of the state government, it is like there is no value for that money so far spent by the government,” he cried out
Hon. Bala however advised the state government to look into ways of improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state by having a concrete arrangement spelled out.
“Niger state has become one of the most backward states in the country as far as revenue generation is concerned. The states that we fall in the same category have since left us behind and they are in the next level.
And from the look of things,,Niger state is presently not yet ready to move to the next level, I do not know why, ” he maintained .
Also in his contributions on the floor of the House, the Law Maker, representing Suleja Constituency, Hon. Shuaibu Iya also made critical observations regarding the budget speech of the state governor, pointing out that a lot needs to be done by the Executive to justify the huge responsibility on its shoulders.
He added that there is the urgent need for the state Government to declare a State of Emergency on education, health, information and lands, and housing, stressing that if it does that , that it will not be a wrong move because it will be justifiable..
He stated that these sectors need a lot of interventions and the money purportedly claimed to have been spent in these sectors have not showed any positive reflections that such monies have been spent on it.
Also reacting, the Member representing Bosso Constituency, Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso berated the successive governments in the state for taking years to complete some of the uncompleted projects across the state.
He also decried the attitude of the government in bringing reversed budgets after the budget had been passed and signed into law, urging his colleagues to be focused and stick to whatever appropriation that will be passed as the 2020 budget.
Meanwhile, the Hon. Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse adjourned the delibrations to the next legislative day.