Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has said the state government received over N2tn between May 2007 and May 2019 from the Federal Government, but has nothing to show for it.
Isa Yuguda was the governor of the state from May 2007 to May 2015 while Mohammed Abubakar was in charge from May 2015 to May 2019.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of a panel to recover money and assets allegedly diverted by the Yuguda and Abubakar’s administrations at Government House, Bauchi, on Friday.
He claimed his immediate predecessor Abubakar received over N400bn during his tenure.
The ex-Minister of the Federal Capital Territory said, “I am not unaware of the debate and passionate conversation, some perhaps, negative on why we set up this committee. This fact may suffice to allay the fears of anybody that between May 2007 and May 2019, Bauchi State received more than N2tn from the federation account in form of allocation and intervention.
“Between 2015 and 2019 alone, the state’s total revenue collection stood at over N400bn. The most rudimentary audit will show how these funds were scandalously mismanaged with little or nothing to show for it.
“Bauchi State has more than 1.3 million children out of school and another 1.3 million unemployed. Our resources were clearly diverted or squandered while our citizens grappled with poverty and squalor.”
He added, “For example, the first four years of the Buhari administration, the state government got N47bn as bailouts from the Federal Government, mainly to offset salaries, gratuities and pensions. We also got N17bn as Paris Club refunds amounting to N62bn as intervention, apart from the statutory monthly federal allocations.
“It is embarrassing today, that we have N27bn unpaid gratuities and pensions, it’s sad, very sad indeed. If this state of financial profligacy is allowed to go unchecked, we may wake up one day to have our state reduced to a status of glorified or amplified local government. These glaring facts, clearly showed how serious the business of government in Bauchi State was conducted with reckless abandon, corruption and impunity.”
He said the probe was not a witch-hunt or meant to settle some old scores, “but meant to recover the misappropriated commonwealth and reset the baton, so that integrity, probity and accountability will henceforth remain the guiding principles as well as an article of faith in the conduct of government business.”
He told the committee to be focused and resourceful in the discharge of its assigned responsibilities, adding that the government had high hopes in the members’ ability to perform creditably.
The chairman of the panel, Isa Misau, promised that the members would discharge their responsibilities with the fear of God, adding that they would not work outside the law.