Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum , MR. Rotimi Amaechi
By Chuks Okocha
Reports presented by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have revealed how Jigawa, Kano and Enugu State governments have uncovered over N8.1 billion by ordering the closure of multiple banks’ accounts and reduction of ghost workers from the workers’ salaries and wages bill.
This was disclosed in the report presented by Dr. Joe Abah, the National Programme Manager of the DFID/SPARC in a workshop organised for media workers by the NGF Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Abah in the report, “by reducing the number of bank accounts in Jigawa state from 615 to 105, the Jigawa state government recovered N2 billion which it was able to put back into its budget. Kano state reduced the number of bank accounts from 756 to 92 and thus recovered N4.5 billion and Enugu reduced its own from 100 to 10 and was able to put back N1.6 billion into its treasury”.
The report, Abah further said, showed that “the return of unspent funds in Jigawa state at the end of 2009 yielded N9.3 billion which went into the 2010 budget and this has since become a standard practice in the state that unspent funds must be returned to the state treasury”.
Quoting the report, Abah said, “These are in addition to savings from removing ghost workers, improving due process in procurement, reducing the size of debt and ensuring that gains from debt relief granted in 2005 by the Paris Club of Creditors are used to improved maternal and child health, fight malaria and improve water supply in various parts of the country”
Abah who was justifying that the governors in the 36 states are working said, “it is easy to focus on the fact that Imo state government has a Special Assistant on Comedy Matters, but to ignore the fact that the Imo state governor has given up his security vote and salary and these are being used to provide school children with books, uniform and even pocket money.
The report which justified the activities of state governments from Ekiti in the South-west to Yobe State in the North-east, said what thrives most in the states are cases of bad news. The report queried what was wrong in teachers in Kwara State taking promotional examinations before promotion.
citing the instance of only 75 percent of 19000 teachers passing the promotion examinations which consists of basic literacy and numeracy of primary four level aptitude test.
According to the report, not many Nigerians are aware that polio and other related child diseases have been reduced up to 99 percent, stating that the only report coming from the northern states is the security challenges in the affected states.
The report called for the strengthening of the States Review Peer Mechanism as a veritable tool for encouraging developments and competition among the various state governors.