- Urges Gov. Bello to borrow to pay salaries
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The former Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has disclosed that investigations into the financial activities of his administration by the governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, is necessary to keep the records of his stewardship in the state straight.
Aliyu stated this on Monday during a media briefing in Abuja, to state his side of the story over reports of alleged probe of his eight-year reign in the state.
According to him, his successor is simply following administrative procedure, and assured that “it is not a witch-hunt as many believe”.
He clarified that Sani-Bello administration is only embarking on routine exercise aimed at balancing records properly.
He said: “I am under investigation. For me, it is a normal process of balancing facts on documents with reality on ground.
“I did it to my predecessor and that helped in projecting achievements of the government I took over from,” he added.
He said: “It is indeed interesting to intimate that investigations present scorecards and not necessarily what people misunderstand as confirmation of crime committed by past administrations.”
“Records are available for vetting and every detail of government activities during my eight years as governor has been documented for scrutiny. I will continue to support his administration to succeed.”
“The investigation will not affect my relationship with the incumbent governor. I will always avail myself anytime he needs my input. All I want is the success of my dear state,” he stressed.
Speaking further, Aliyu empathised with Governor Sani-Bello over economic realities which has made payment of workers salaries an uphill task.
He remarked that the challenge of paying salaries started towards the end of his administration, adding that the situation is indeed a nightmare for every governor adding that what comes into the state is not enough to take care of workers salaries.
“I can understand what my successor is passing through especially on the issue of payment of salaries. When I was finding it difficult to pay workers salaries at the close of my administration, not many people saw reasons why I had to take loans to augment what we got from the Federal Government.
“When my governor said he was finding it difficult to pay salaries, some people misunderstood him. I know he was telling the honest truth. The allocation to Niger state has plummeted to N600m. Niger is a state that depends largely on handouts from the center and the only option left is to borrow pending when the present economic challenges normalise,” he advised.
The former governor also commended the one performance of the incumbent, saying he is on the right tract.
He however lamented that his successor lacked the required financial muscle to achieve beyond what he has been able to do since he assumed office.
“I am happy he is on the right path and with favourable economic climate he will achieve more. I am a Nigerlite and nothing can change that fact.”