Nasarawa Assembly sets up committee to probe local govt finances

aed nasarawa state house of assembly x
aed nasarawa state house of assembly x

From Abel Leonard, Lafia

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has set up nine-man ad hoc committee to investigate local government finances and lack of development at the grassroots in the state.

Rt Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, announced the constitution of the committee after the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, Alhaji Yusuf Aliyu Turaki, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Daniel Agyeno, and State Accountant General Mr Zakka Yakubu appeared before the House during its proceedings in Lafia today.

The Speaker said that the setting up of the committee was to enable the House get more information, especially documented evidence on how the State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, Ecological funds, State Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and Paris Club were recieved and disbursed amongst the tiers of government in the state.

“The 9-man ad hoc committee include Hon Abdullahi Dahiru Angibi, the Chairman House Committee on Public Account, is the Chairman of the ad hoc committee and other members of the Ad-hoc committee are Hon David Maiyaki, Vice Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Hon Aliyu Dogara, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation , Hon Mohammed Okpoku, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Daniel Ogazi, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Mohammed Agah Muluku, Chief Whip, Hon Abel Bala, the Minority Leader and Hon Mohammed Alkali, Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Secretary of the Ad-hoc committee is, the Deputy Clerk of the House, Mr Ibrahim Musa,” the Speaker said.

“I urge the committee to do a thorough job and report back their findings within two weeks to the House for our next line of action,” he said.

“The essence of the Ad-hoc committee is to investigate the issues at hand, there are so many issues that required documented evidence as we need more revelations.

“The setting up of the ad hoc committee was also to enable us get more explanations from the government officials which will assist the House to take appropriate decision .

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“And we will be guided and the public will be well informed on the usage of local government finances.

“We as representatives of our people, we must ensure that we do the right things for the benefits of our constituents as we are going to give account of it here and hereafter,” he said

The Speaker assured the people of the state of their continued readiness to perform their legislative duties without fear or favour.

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“What we are doing is that we are purely performing our constitutional responsibilities. We are not witch hunting anybody.

“What is happening in the local government is affecting us and all the people of the state directly,we are trying to sanitize the system and to correct the wrongs.

“We must put a stop on some of this wrongs. Imagine, the state government is not giving 10 per cent of its IGR to the local government as required by the law,and I am very sure the Governor was not advise properly on this matter because he is a man of due process and a respecter of law.

“We must not allow this to happen. Some people somewhere will give different meaning to our legislative duties, let them say what they want to say, we will continue to do the right thing,” he said.

The Speaker commended members of the House for their commitment and patriotism while discharging their legislative duties.

In their various contributions, Hon Daniel Ogazi, Hon Mohammed Okpoku, Hon Abel Bala and Hon David Maiyaki asked questions ranging from the utilisation of State Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability funds ( SFTAS), Ecological funds, Paris club funds and non remittance of 10 per cent of the state IGR to the local government among others issues.

The lawmakers said that lack of finances at the local government has affected development at the grassroots negatively.

They urged the state government to always respect local government and other laws for grassroots development in the state just as the Majority Leader Hon. Tanko Tunga advocated for an ad-hoc committee to be set up to look into the matter.

On their parts, Hon Yusuf Aliyu Turaki, Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, Hon Daniel Agyeno, the Commissioner for Finance and Mr Zakka Yakubu,the State Accountant General while answering questions at the floor of the House confirmed that the state never remitted 10 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the local government as required by the law.

They have also confirmed that the amount of money in the Ecological Fund Account is over N400million, adding that local governments have being benefitting form the ecological fund.

The trio assured of the state government continued commitment in ensuring that the right things are done towards ensuring the development of local government areas in the state.

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