The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and his deputy, Simon Achuba, have allocated to themselves a total of N14million for staging burial ceremonies.
This is contained in the 2019 Appropriation Act of the state, a copy of which was sighted by PREMIUM TIMES.
It was however not clear whose burial the funds were allocated for as the subhead did not state further details.
Under the provisions for the state’s Government House, N12million was earmarked for the governor for burial, while the deputy governor got N2million for the same purpose.
An interesting provision was N15million budget for the “Hire of Private Houses.”
Other curious planned expenditures include a provision of N50million for Financial Assistance, whereas different provisions had already been made for donations and financial assistance to different organisations.
For instance, N70million was provided for Donations; N70million for Assistance to Nigerian Legion; N10million to NYSC; N10million to the Less Privileged and N50million to Orphanage Homes.
The deputy governor has N2milllion for the less privileged, N1million for NYSC and another N1million for orphanages.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Mohammed, said the budgetary provisions were well scrutinised before they were approved and represented the highest level of prudent management of resources.
He said the funds for burial were meant for financial assistance of families of dead persons within the governor’s office.
Mr Mohammed said what was provided for burial was even grossly inadequate given the regular need of the Governor’s office to dole out support to families of the bereaved.
“That is for burial expenses, which is for the whole year,” he said. “Requests come to the governor’s table from time to time, for assistance of families of bereaved staff, and he will need to assist the families for the burial.”
He also cited an instance of the death of a staff of Kogi State Radio Station, whose burial would need to be supported.
Speaking on the other provisions, Mr Mohammed noted that the proposals were well articulated and transparently considered to meet the needs of the government in the interest of citizens.
Governor Bello is seeking reelection with his four-year tenure in January next year.