Bailout Funds: Govs Take On ICPC

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Nassarawa, Enugu Fume At Report

From Abubakar LAWAL, Lafia

For opening his mouth too loud the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC,Mr. Ekpo Nta may have drawn the ire of state governors who he had accused of squandering the bailout funds released to them by the Federal Government.
The governors have variously refuted the allegations blaming the scenario on the over-zealousness of the ICPC officials who they say are trying to impress the Presidency and show cause why they should be allowed to continue as an entity amid calls that their role dove-tails into that of other agencies and hence be merged or scrapped.
In the latest reaction coming from Nasarawa State Government, its commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Aliyu Tijjani has vehemently refuted the ICPC report that included the state among those that diverted the bailout funds which was originally intended for the settlement of workers’ salaries arrears.
He discredited the report by the Commission and described as a fallacious and lacking in merit. “ The report is baseless and unreliable. They did not carry out any in depth investigation before publishing the report”
The Commissioner stressed that that the bail out funds for Local Government Areas was disbursed to all the 13 Councils amounting N4.3 billion which was meant to pay workers salaries and that the state government ensured that those funds were judiciously disbursed according to approved financial guidelines with no report of anything untoward.
He further stated that before the government received the funds workers in local councils were owed two months salaries which amounted to N2.2 billion Naira .
Alhaji Aliyu Tijjani called on ICPC to revisit it’s report for the purpose of clarity urging it not to allow some mischievous by passing wrong information to the commission.
The Commissioner added that the cheques for disbursed funds were presented in the presence of all leaders of workers Union in the state with a view to enable them monitor the disbursement of the funds for purposes of transparency and accountability.
He lamented inclusion of the state in the list of those that have diverted or mis-used the bailout funds.
Similarly, Imo, Zamfara and Enugu states which were also listed as defaulters on the bailout fund have previously reacted, saying that the ICPC was acting based figments of its imagination rather facts. Some of the state governments had dared the Commission to prove its case or be ready to face litigation for putting them unduly on the spot.