By: Willy Punvwet,
Nasarawa State House of Assembly has urged Governor, Abdullahi Sule, to relieve the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed-Tijani of his appointment, over N284. 5m unaccounted School Projects Fund.
This fund, from the report of the House, was expended when the SSG was the Commissioner of Education in the state
Speaker, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, gave this recommendation to the Governor on behalf of the members of the State House of Assembly, on Tuesday in Lafia, the state capital, after the Lawmakers had deliberated on the report of an Ad-hoc Committee, which investigating the alleged N1 billion released in 2018 for renovation and fencing of Public Secondary Schools in the state.
The Speaker, also directed that, Ahmed-Tijani, should refund, over N248.5 million, being unaccounted funds to the coffers of the State Government.
According to the Speaker, “The former Commissioner displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetency and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.
“Based on the resolution of the Assembly, His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Sule, should relieve the SSG, of his appointment.
“I request the Clerk to communicate the Assembly’s resolution to the Governor, for immediate action.”
The Speaker urged the Governor, as a matter of urgency, to work on the resolution in the interest of peace, development and accountability and to also serve as deterrent to others.
The Speaker, in part, while give details concerning the investigated transactions said, “Based on the Committee’s recommendations, N873, 233,942.60 was expended, based on the information from the Payment Vouchers (PVs), excluding 5 percent deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation (M $ E), as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.
“The total released contract sum was N1, 084,000,000 only, if deducted N873, 233,942.60 from the total contract sum will amount to N210, 766, 057.40.
“Then add 5 per cent Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37, 718, 499.19. The total unaccounted funds will amount to N248, 484,556.60.”
Balarabe also urged the government to declare a state of emergency, on all project sites to ensure their completion.
“All contractors, who completed their work should be paid immediately by the Ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors, should be refunded to government coffers immediately.
“Funds should be released to contractors, who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work.” He said.
He called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation/fencing to do so within one month or face the consequence.
The Speaker further urged the Ministry of Education to take an “on the spot assessments” of all uncompleted projects to see the level of work done and to make funds available for the completion of same in the interest of development.
It must be noted that, it was Alhaji Mohammed Alkali (APC-Lafia North) that moved the Motion calling for the relieve of Ahmed Tijani from his position, as SSG, while Alhaji Ibrahim Muluku (APC-Nasarawa Eggon East), seconded the Motion.
The Legislators before the Speaker of the House spoke had unanimously adopted the Committee’s reports and urged the Governor to relieve the SSG of his position.
It would be recalled that, on 17th March, 2020, the Speaker had constituted a House Ad-hoc Committee to carry out the investigation on the alleged utilization of the N1billion, approved for the renovation/ fencing of Public Secondary Schools in the state.