In an era when prudent financial management and the responsible allocation of public funds should be paramount, the citizens of Yobe State find themselves aghast at the reckless extravagance of their state government.
In a shocking display of financial irresponsibility, findings by this online media have revealed how the government under the leadership of Governor Mai Buni spent over ₦61 million on the demarcation of land and assessment of land value, pointing fingers not only to a flagrant misuse of taxpayer money but a blatant affront to the principles of fiscal responsibility and accountability.
According to data on the Yobe State open procurement portal, the state government, on 2nd March, 2022, initiated a project tagged “Demarcation of land and assessment of land value at Wachakal”.
The demarcation and assessment project, which was done by an ‘unknown’ ministry in the State, gulped sixty-one million, one hundred and forty thousand, and ninety-seventy naira, (N61,140,097.00).
What is particularly startling is that the Buni-led government carried out the financial transaction, which exceeded N200,000.00, without awarding it as a contract, violating the law.
Treasury Circular No. TRY/ A2&B2/ 2009/ OAGF/ CAD026/V OF 24th March 2009 states that, “All procurement of stores and services exceeding N200,000.00 shall be made only through the award of contract”.
Similarly, Treasury Circular Ref. No. TRY/A2&A3/2013 OAGF/CAD/026/V.1/188 OF 9th April, 2013 emphasized that “cash advance in excess of N200,000.00 should not be granted to any officer for procurement of goods and services, but the procurement should be given out as a contract”.
The contract details revealed that the decision to allocate such an exorbitant sum for a seemingly mundane task, which data suggests is a testament to the government’s disconnect from the financial realities faced by the ordinary citizens, is for the “Provision of vocational park to boost IGR.”
Meanwhile, the move came at a time when the state is grappling with pressing issues such as inadequate healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, and rising unemployment.