By: Valentine Adese (JP) and Eunice Maina,
The Plateau State Ministry of Finance has described the allegations against Governor Simon Bako Lalong that he may have misused or misappropriated the sum of N20 billion meant for internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state as an imagination of the opposition.
The Ministry which debunked the allegation during its briefing on the 2019 Budget Estimate Break Down today, at the Cabinet Office of the State Secretariat has also described Governor Lalong’s Administration as a “Responsible Government”.
The Ministry, through its Commissioner, Hon. Sylvester Ibrahim Wallangko and the Permanent Secretary, said, “Twenty Billion is not a small money that one would expect to enter the state and the people will not know.
“From the Budget Estimate Break Down, you will see the amounts that the state generated as Recurrent Revenue, did you see such amount? This government is a Responsible Government I must tell you!
“See, this allegation is purely the imagination of those opposed to this administration!
for the records, the ICPC and the EFCC have continued to look at our books and both agencies have scored the Lalong’s administration high on effect use of state resources.
You would recall that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Sen. Jeremiah Useni, in Plateau State, have accused Governor Simon Bako Lalong of using the sum of N20 Billion Naira meant for IDPs in the state to finance his 2019 return election in the state.
According to the 2019 Budget Estimate Breakdown for Plateau State, the Budget size is One Hundred and fifty Three Billion, Five Hundred and thirty-seven Million, One Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Sixty-Nine Naira (153,537,190,069.00) only.
The Budget has the sum of N68.065,901,294.00 (44.33%) and N85,471,288,775.00 (55.37%) for Capital and Recurrent Expenditures respectively.
The Ministry, which stated that the administration of Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, would continue to maintain a zero tolerance for corruption and mismanagement of state resources, stated in its Budget press text that, “The 2019 Budget, tagged “Budget of Rescue and Infrastructural Growth” is aimed at consolidating on the infrastructural Development of the State in the mist of daunting challenges”.