Nasarawa Assembly summons two commissioners, AG over state finances
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has summoned two commissioners and a state Accountant General to account for some state finances, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The invited commissioners are those for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Turaki; and Finance, Mr Daniel Agyeno, as well as the Accountant General, Mr Zakka Yakubu.
They are to appear before the legislature on Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 10 a.m. at the assembly chamber.
This, the lawmakers said, was to enable the invitees to explain how the State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, Ecological funds, State Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and Paris Club fund were received and disbursed between the state and local government councils in the state.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, invited the government officials after Alhaji Agah Muluku, the Chief Whip of the assembly, moved a motion to that effect under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, at plenary in Lafia on Monday.
Abdullahi said that inviting the government officials was not a witch hunt exercise but to enable them to explain vividly how the funds are being used between the state and local governments.
The speaker said that their appearance was also to ensure that the right things are done in order to ensure speedy development at the grassroots.
“I want to appreciate Hon. Muluku and all of you for your positive contributions on this subject matter.
“I have said it severally, that we are all elected to represent our people well at this state assembly.
“The people we are representing will judge us, posterity will judge us and God will judge us based on our actions and inactions, these are judgements that await us.
“In the process of discharging our duties, we will receive condemnations and insults from people who do not understand legislative work and activities.
“We are doing our best to protect the system and let them say what they want to say.
“But how can we allow something that was for local governments to be diverted somewhere, we have to investigate that.
“It is in view of this that we invite the State Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs; the Commissioner for Finance; and Accountant General to appear before us on Sept. 27, by 10 a.m at the chamber,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the assembly has passed a law on how state finances should be disbursed amongst the tiers of government in the state, especially the LG law and “we will not sit and watch the abuse of the laws passed by this Honourable House”.
The speaker assured the state government of continued partnership for the good of the state and people, stressing that the House in doing that will not support what will be detrimental to the development and the lives of the people of the state especially those at the grassroots.
In their contributions, Messers Mohammed Okpoku, Daniel Ogazi and David Maiyaki lamented how lack of finances at the local government level has affected development at the grassroots.
They said that, if urgent steps are not taken, the aim of establishing local government would be defeated.
They also decried how chairmen of local government councils and Overseers of development areas cannot execute projects and perform their duties effectively due to a lack of funds at their disposal.
Earlier, the Chief Whip of the House raised the issue of lack of physical development at the local government level under matters of public interest.
He said that there was the need for those involved in managing government funds to explain how State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, Ecological fund, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Paris Club were received and utilised by the tiers of government in the state.
“What I want to raise has to do with the lack of development in the local government and development areas in the state.
“There is no development at the local government level. FAAC is being received every month, there are State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds,
“We have over N400 million Ecological funds, but as I am talking no kobo was given to the local government to address ecological problems in their areas.
“The state government by law is supposed to give local governments 10 per cent of its IGR but we learnt that they are not giving.
“How can the local government develop without finances, if actually, we want development at the local government there is the need to invite those involved in managing government resources and activities to appear before us to explain why there is no development at the grassroots,” Muluku said.