BY UMAR FAROUK, IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH.
As public condemnations continue to trail the N13 Billion claim to have been spent on security in Zamfara State by Governor Abdul’aziz Yari, the Northern Youth Assembly has demanded thorough investigations into the financial activities of the State.
In a statement jointly signed by the State Chairman, Comrade Munnir Haidara Kaura and the Publicity Secretary, Comrade Mustapha Hassan Musa, the group decried the gross financial mismanagement of the State funds, adding that such mismanagement of the State funds has left the state treasury into clear bankruptcy.
“We affirm that in 2016 alone the Federal Government extended a lifeline grants through bailout funds, budget support funds, the Paris Club refund etc, amounting to several billions of Naira but there is nothing on ground to justify how over N40 Billion was expended by Governor Abdul’aziz Yari”.
The group lamented that in the face of all these financial supports, over 50,000 SSCE candidates, over 500,000 unemployed youth, 1400 unpaid staff, thousands of pensioners have not got their gratuity and entitlements since 2013, adding that the civil service is deeply rooted in a paralyzed system.
The statement noted that since the years of escalating banditry and cattle rustling, no unit of armored personnel carrier was at any time purchased to justify the Governor’s claim of N13 Billion ($42 Million) pointing out that the only noticeable helicopter on the sky came from the Federal Government through the ministry of Defense during 2016 Army day celebration in the State last July.
It further stated that even though the celebration was entirely the Federal Government Affairs, the State still claimed that it spent N400 Million on the occasion, stressing that the State since 2011 has been experiencing blood baths and mayhems while there has been tremendous security challenges defying all legitimate activities of the citizens which the group lamented that there is no positive impact to quell the situation even though the Governor claimed to have spent a whooping sum of N13 Billion.
Continuing, the State noted that one sensitive issue that is lacking focus and direction is the procurement principles, stressing that the Governor continue to award contracts running to billions of Naira without due process of law.
“The Governor does not follow the essential steps in public procurement through effective procurement plan driven by needs assessment and appropriation, thereby neglecting due process, technical and financial or state Executive approval” .
It explained that Governor Yari awards contracts in violation of budgetary provisions and procurement principles, pointing out that all these monies are out of revenue projection which the group said Yari has failed to account for them.
According to the statement, the group expressed disappointment and dismay at the current leadership style in Zamfara State, citing the Local Government administration that has been halted due to the fact that their statutory allocations are being hijacked to benefit personal cronies of the Governor.
The group challenged the EFCC, ICPC and other relevant authorities to beam their search lights in the State so as to recover the looted funds and prosecute the alleged looters of public funds.