From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
Members of the Niger State House of Assembly have accused Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of wasting over N126 billion 2019 capital expenditure budget without meaningful projects to show for it, thereby taking the state backward.
The lawmakers made the observation while discussing the 2020 Budget speech of the Niger state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello during the first plenary sitting for 2020.
They criticized the continuous spending of money by the state government on projects which they claimed have brought no value to the people.
Member representing Borgu Constituency, Honorable Mohammed Abba Bala while commencing the deliberation said that with over N126 billion as the capital expenditure in the 2019 budget, there was nothing to show for it in the local government areas across the state.
According to him, a lot of monies have been spent as claimed by the executive but the people did not get the value for the said money claimed by the governor.
“N126 billion was attained as capital expenditure in 2019 and looking at projects across the state in every local government, it leaves a lot to criticize. With that amount, even if each local government gets N5 million worth of projects, the story we would have been telling here would have been different.
“A lot of monies was said to have been spent on roads and transport, a lot of money was spent but no work was done. Take every part of the roads that money was said to have been spent, the Minna-Suleja road and the Minna-Bida road, lots of money said to have been spent does not commemorate the work done. The roads are still extremely bad.”
He further urged the government to look into ways of improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state by having a concrete arrangement spelt out.
“Niger State has become one of the most backward states as far as revenue generation is concerned. The states that we fall in the same category have left us and they are in the next level. Niger state is not yet ready to move to the next level, I do not know why.”
The legislator representing Suleja Constituency, Honorable Shuaibu Iya who are are critical observations regarding the budget speech stated that a lot needs to be done adding that if the Executive declares a state of emergency on education, health, information and lands, and housing, it will not be a wrong move.
Also speaking, the member representing Bosso Constituency, Honorable Malik Madaki Bosso berated the government for taking years to complete some of the uncompleted projects across the state.
He also lamented on the attitude of the government in bringing reversed budgets after the budget has been passed and signed into law urging his colleagues to be focused and stick to whatever will be passed as the 2020 Budget.
The Speaker, Honorable Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, however, urged to adjourned the deliberations to the next legislative day.