Aliyu Booed, Stoned As New Niger Gov Takes Over
NIGER State Governor, Abubakar Sami Bello has been sworn-in as the fifth civilian governor of the state with the promise to carry out a forensic audit of the state to determine the huge debt profile and bonds left behind by the outgoing administration with a view to determining how these funds were applied and for which projects.
His predecessor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu was publicly booed and stoned by angry crowd at the venue. Aliyu was earlier billed to address the people of the state for the last time as governor before the administration of oath of allegiance on his successor, but this could not take place because of the hostility of the crowd towards him.
Bello expressed the intention of his administration to downsize government by rationalizing the existing ministries, department and parastatals to conserve funds for capital projects.
In his inaugural speech at the Minna Township Stadium, Bello said his government is inheriting a bloated, disillusioned, unproductive and least paid civil service in the country, stressing that the state requires a modern, effective and efficient civil service to drive its development agenda.
According to him, “The bulk of the state’s earned revenue is spent on recurrent expenditure, paying more workers than we need to run the state efficiently.
“In the last eight years in particular, the effectiveness of the service had been compromised for purely narrow political interest to the extent that we are inheriting a bloated, disillusioned, unproductive and the least paid civil service in the country.
“Accordingly, the civil service will be reformed and restructured to enable it cope with the pace of the new administration and the demand for effective and efficient delivery of service to Nigerlites.
The Governor further lamented the dwindling resources and heavy debt burden the new administration is inheriting, calling on the people to be ready to make sacrifices and have a positive attitudinal change in order to realize the dream of a new Niger state.
“The challenges facing us are numerous and daunting, the most serious being the continuous dwindling revenues from the federal account, heavy external and internal debt burden, weak internally generated revenue, corruption and dishonesty in the conduct of government business at all levels including the 25 local government councils.
“An unworkable structure of government with 36 ministries and 105 parastatals, agencies, boards and corporations, multiplicity of ghost workers in the state civil service and high profile abandoned projects like the state Stadium and Minna City Centre.”
“We intend to lead by example and an effective mechanism for managing our scarce resources will be installed. All areas of wastages and leakages will be blocked.
Further, the culture of excessive contracts pricing/inflation and award of ghost contracts will be stopped.”
Bello then expressed his appreciation to the people and traditional rulers for the support they have given for the sustenance of peace and stability in the state.