Revenue Derivation Formula/Constituency Project Divided the House
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly was Monday turned into a rowdy house following an issue raised by Honorable Francis Orugu, member representing Keana constituency, the chairman House committee on public account, stated this while his committee presented the final report to the hallowed chamber. He lamented the manner tax-payers money was being mismanaged by successive regimes of governors Abdullahi Adamu and Aliyu Akwe Doma.
He buttress that billions of naira were siphoned in the name of Farin Ruwa Hydro Electricity Power Project, saying with the colossal amount budgeted from 1999-2011 the state is grinding to a halt, “one billion naira budgeted for airport project; won’t allow public money go down the drain just like that of Farin Ruwa project.”
He however said meaningful projects like road network, water, and electricity projects should be given impetus. “What we are lacking in Nasarawa State is that we don’t have scale of preference, and who will land in the airport? The governor should instead provide most of the needed facilities in 2012 budget and the airport project can come in by next year budget,” he opined.
Baba Ibaku, chairman House committee on information (PDP), representing Udegi, however kicked against the proposed project, urging the executive arm of government to give utmost attention to the needs of the people by providing basic infrastructures to the broad-spectrum populace instead of embarking on airport project, which he said has no direct impact on the lives of the people. “First things first; the basic needs of the people of Nasarawa State are road network, water, electricity but not white elephant projects.”
Madaki Ada Goje also condemned in strong terms the premeditated airport project to be embarked upon by the Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura Congress for Progressive Change administration. The Honorable member under the auspices of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) representing Toto-Gadabuke disparate the enterprise recounting it has anti-people scheme.
He said the challenges facing the state are bountiful, adding that what the state desires most is good road network, water and the reinstatement of the education sector which he said is at the threshold of collapsing. He then urged the present governor to consolidate on those sectors he mentioned instead of embarking on Goliath projects that have no direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The Honorable member professed that the airport project is a misplacement of precedence to the state whose vast populace are agrarian. According to him, “vast populations of our people are farmers and what they deserve most is road to transport their farm produce to the market but not airport which has no direct impact on their lives.
Madaki Ada Goje asserted that road, which serves as essential artery for the development of every nation, will boost the economy of the state which was lags behind fifteen years after creation.
Speaking on the unfavorable atmosphere experienced between the executive and the legislative organ of government, Madaki unfolded that due process must be followed but not for the executive to take a unilateral pronouncement with the composition of twenty four members in the House of Assembly.
He further unveiled that the situation that led to disruptive assembly proceeding include the inauguration of sole administrators for Development Areas: “the governor takes a decision without further consultation with the lawmakers, and we are all associates in progress for that what belong to us must be given to us”
He said cross fertilization of ideas between the organs of government is the only panacea to the development of the state.
Other arguments raised at the session also include the review of revenue derivation formula; the lawmaker representing Karu constituency, Honorable Chitubu, in his contribution also sued for the review of the revenue derivation formula. The position of the lawmaker raised eyebrows as vast of the policymakers kicked against the move.
The position of the member came to the fore following the quest by the state House of Assembly for the state governor to increase the N100m earmarked for the construction of three kilometer roads in each of the thirty local governments in the state. Most of the members who are mostly from the Development Areas opposed the road projects following the non inclusion of the Development Areas, which are the appendages of the substantive local governments.
Honorable Shabani Chitubu averred that Karu Local Government, the gate way to the federal capital, is the main hub that generates revenue to the state while the remaining twelve local governments and Development Areas are benefitting from it. According to him, “the revenue of only one ward is more than the revenue of Awe Local Government, and Karu needed more revenue to put in place more amenities which have been overstretched due to increasing population, a position totally disagreed by the members.
Ibrahim Moskolo also supported the need to make separate budgetary provisions for the Development Areas. Others that contributed include Honorable Sidi Bako, who sued for the cooperation of the executive arm of government to give proper attention to rural electrification, provision of water and road network among others.