Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has lamented that the state and local government joint account was a conduit pipe used by successive administrations to siphon public funds to the detriment of the taxpayers in the state.
The Governor was speaking on Thursday during a meeting with Local Government Councils Chairmen and heads of security in the state held at Banquet Hall of the Government House.
He said that, “we have discovered that all projects embarked upon by successive administration in the name of joint account we not done, the money was just diverted. This has left us in the present situation where we have to rely on monthly overdraft to pay salaries of local government workers “.
He added that “we are the only state in the country that is grappling with a paucity of funds at the local government level because of the huge debts left behind by successive administrations under the join projects. It is indeed very disheartening.”
The Governor however assured that “this will not stop us from doing the needful. We will continue to ensure that salaries, pensions and other allowances are paid to staff of the local government areas. We assure you that nothing will take away that responsibility.”
The Governor, however, pleaded for time so enable his administration to correct the ills discovered at the local government levels assuring that everything will soon be made perfect.
In the issue of security, the Governor charged the Council Chairmen who are chief security officers of their respective areas to sit up, cooperate with the security chiefs in their respective areas to ensure that there was no security breach.
He said that, “you have to be security conscious, look out for criminals in your areas and handover to the security agencies closest to you, we cannot afford to allow criminals runover our state, we have to be proactive.”
Bala Mohammed declared that, “today, Bauchi State is regarded as one of the most peaceful state in the country due to the untiring efforts of the security agencies in the state, they have been doing well and relating well with us.”
On administration, the Governor said that, “it is you the people at that level know, you are closer to them than to us but you are representing us, you must do that better. We did not interfere in your election process because we believe in the choice of the people. It is now over to you to do the needful.”
Earlier, the Secretary to Bauchi State Government (SSG), Mohammed Sabiu Baba in his opening remarks said that the meeting was specifically held to discuss issues of administration at the local government level in order to positively impact on the lives of the people.
The SSG added that as security officers of the respective LGAs, the Chairmen have the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of every citizen residing in their areas calling on them to ensure collaboration.