The People of Plateau State were in ecstasy and jubilant mood when Governor took over office as the next governor of Plateau State, their jubilation was based on the fact that the previous government was not may have failed them, and with the coming of Simon Lalong the expected that something better will come their way.
However, this medium gathered this happy and cheery mood being exhibited by the people of Plateau is soon fading away as their hope is being dashed as rather than focusing on developmental projects that will put smiles in the face of the people, it is already alleged that the Governor is already in Wonderland and he is yet to the come realities of things and the way it should follow.
A Youth wing of a group known as Greater Together For GNS, had last month lambasted the governor’s profligacy and licentious spending since becoming governor of the State, inspite of his claims that the State is in big debt arising from the previous government.
According to the group, they accused governor of running the State with impunity, as it was alleged that that he used the loan acquired to buy landed properties in Jos and Abuja, a scenario which they said it is not what they loan was intended for.
The group also hinted that rather than using the loan accessed to pay salaries and put up developmental projects in the State, the Governor using the state fund to junket and globetrotte within and outside the country.
As if that was not enough, the group alleged that Governor has spent over N3o million on chartered jets, even as he was accused of staying in the penthouse of the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, whenever he is in the Federal Capital Territory.
Though the Governor has denied these allegations when marked his 100 days in office, a stakeholder in the State who pleaded anonymity told this medium that the governor’s denial of these allegations may not be true after all as inspite of his claims of no money in the State, it is alleged that many persons whom brought into government to work with him have already become millionaires within four months in office.
Meanwhile, last week the Plateau State House of Assembly, refused to the approve the request of the Governor seeking for a N10 billion loan facility, however findings by this medium reveals that State House of Assembly is investigating the loan facility.
Universalreporters247.com sources within the assembly informed it that as a follow-up to the loan facility request by the Governor, the Assembly has invited the state’s Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, to give more explanations on the loan request.
The Governor’s letter to the House of Assembly for the loan’s request this medium learnt never stated bits by bits what it intended what the N10 billion will be used for, rather it stated that it will be used for developmental projects in the state if approved.
He also stated that the loan is authorised by the National Economic Council (NEC), would be accessed from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
However, universalreporters247.com was reliably informed by an Assembly source that the loan request by the Governor was dead on arrival as the members outrightly rejected the loan request.
While contributing on the issue a member representing Kantana Constituency and who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Yusuf Gagdi, told the House members to grant assent to issues that will bring about development to the state.
Gagdi objected to the loan request by the Governor, that if the House approves the loan it will further mortgage the future of the state and the people of the State; “We as legislators must operate as a people-oriented Assembly; the one that will make good laws that will better the lives of the people. Recently, we granted approval for government to collect a loan of N9.8 billion to offset the backlog of salary areas; but we agreed that it was only N4.5 billion that was accessed.”
“The Federal Government also released N5.3 billion as bailout funds to the state to offset salary areas. This is a state that commissioners and other government functionaries are yet to be appointed and salaries were not paid, where then are these monies taken to?,” the Deputy Speaker said.
Also giving his contribution, the member representing Mangu North East Constituency, Mr Abdul Yanga, state thus; “If we must approve the collection of this loan, government must accompany this proposal with a clear blueprint on the projects it will be used for. We are representatives of the people, and so we must make laws that will be in the best interest of the people; anything short of that will be antagonistic,” he stated.
Another member who voiced his mind toward the issue is Hon. Simon Kudu who is representing Rukuba/Irigwe Constituency, according to him he said, he wondered what the government was doing with its monthly subvention that it had to always fall back to collecting loans.
A situation which made him to call on the Assembly to direct the state accountant-general to appear before the House for a more elaborate explanation about the proposed loan.
Meanwhile, soon after the hullabaloo and rejection of Governor Lalong’s loans request, universalreporters247.com learnt from a close source that Governor Lalong invited that 10 principal officers of the State House Assembly to meeting with them in Abuja so as to ascertain from them why his loan’s request was rejected by them.
A source in Abuja who was privy to what happened at the meeting, told universalreporters247.com that Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi who led the members to the meeting in reply to the Governor’s , told him that the letter for the loan request didn’t come with specified projects that the loan will be used for.
Speaking further he asked the governor about the previous loan of N9.8 billion, though it was only N4.5 billion that was accessed, he asked what he did with it, also that he collected for N5.3 billion as bailout fund from the Federal Government, as he asked what happened to it.
According to the source at the Abuja meeting, the members told him that, workers are being owed two months’ salary, a lot things are not going well, even they told him Commissioners and other Government appointees are yet to be appointed, they reminded him that they are as members since assuming office as lawmakers has not received their salaries except their allowances.
The House members told the Governor that, he needs to itemize all the things he will do with loan facility he is requesting for its approval.
Meanwhile, after the meeting, the House members got the shock of their life, when the Governor offered them the sum of N30,000 each, an offer which the House members rejected, according to the source he told universalreporters247.com in Abuja that the members rejected the governor’s offer because it is insulting and embarrassing, as according to Deputy Speaker the 10 principal officers spent over N500 which includes their flight, accommodation and other expenses while in Abuja for the meeting which was summoned by the Governor.
However, it was alleged that the Speaker of the House later collected the N300.000 which he gave to 10 principal officers, however our source said nobody is sure if the Deputy Speaker and the other nine principal officers will accept that sum which when they split it, it will amount to N30,000.00 per person.
Source: Universal Reporters 247