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Buhari Accuses Governors Of Pocketing LG Allocations

By Adedayo Said

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday accused state governors of pocketing local government allocations.

He spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.

He said it beats anyone’s imagination how some state governors would collect money on behalf of council areas in their states, only to remit just half of such allocation to the council chairman, who would further deplete the remittance in further pilfering of public resources.

Buhari said such actions were rather despicable and spoke of the height of corruption in the country.

He flayed the tendency of some governors to encourage corruption at the local government system, thereby inhibiting development at the grassroots.

“Speaking from personal experience, a Chief Executive of a state, a qualified lawyer, trained, the treatment of local governments, what they did, this is my personal experience. If the monies from the federal government to state governments is N100m, let’s put it at N100m. N50m will be sent to the chairman with a letter that he’ll sign that he received 100 million. 

“The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wanted to and then the chairman of the local government will see how much he must pay in salaries, to hell goes development. Monies for the salaries will be given and the balance will put in his pocket. This is what is happening.

“This is Nigeria, it’s a terrible thing. You cannot say the person who was doing these was not educated, he was a qualified lawyer, he was experienced, yet he participated in this type of corruption. 

“So, it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we find ourselves. As a leader, you sit here, with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. 

“The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us,” the president said.

He said the recommendations contained in the presentation of SEC 44 would be painstakingly studied by the government with a view to implementing them.

Buhari said his administration had done so much in building trust between the government and the people.

He said the report would largely assist in the provision of good governance to the people at the grassroots levels and by extension win back their trust in government.

After listening to some demands by the leadership of NIPSS, Buhari said his administration was poised to complete the review and passage of the NIPSS Establishment Act and condition of service before handover in May 2023.

Director-General, NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said the Course participants undertook study tours of 14 states of Nigeria, six African countries and six countries outside Africa.

Meanwhile, a directing staff of the NIPSS, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, in an interview after the event, said restructuring of the federation “will help the governors to rethink and give ample room to local governments.”

Meanwhile, the Head of Media and Public Affairs for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, neither answered phone calls nor responded to an SMS sent to him by our correspondent for a reaction.

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