Former minister wants Nigerian governors’ access to public funds curbed

A former minister of petroleum, Jibril Aminu, has expressed concern over what he described as state governors’ unlimited access to spending of public funds.

Mr. Aminu made the statement on Saturday in Yola in his speech at the third edition of Adamawa Community Dialogue, organised by an NGO, Adamawa Community Advancement Initiative (ACAI).

He said that a situation where a governor could collect and spend state resources at will without recourse to due process needed to be checked if the country must progress.

Mr. Aminu, a former senator, decried the situation in the country where governors handle state and local government resources like their personal property.

“A governor just sends for the Accountant-General, who very often is his best friend; maybe his cousin too to bring money,” he said.

Mr. Aminu noted that he had had cause in the past to comment on the excesses of governors, who he said, hijacked council funds and even attempted to control the federal government through the governors’ forum.

He lauded ACAI for its effort to promote unity and good governance in Adamawa. He urged the organisation not to relent in its efforts to ensure that the state and nation’s resources were judiciously utilised for the benefit of the people.

He condemned politics of sentiments, saying that those promoting such sentiments use it as screen to cover up their failure.

“Ethnicity, religion and other pettiness are all symptoms of non-performance; people who fail use ethnicity and religion as something to hang on,’’ he said.

Mr. Aminu urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by the current challenges facing the nation but remain resolute and determined to reject negative thinking and work towards nation building.

“We are rich, our people are intelligent and we have all the potentials,” Mr. Aminu said. (NAN)


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  • tundemash

    So adviser Aminu, good suggestion and obviously it is what we all know, what exactly did you do about this when you were in a position to influence things either as a Senator or as Minister ?

    • wazobia scatter!!!!!!

      ask him …………………..playing pope now he doesn’t have access to public funds ………………………. i remember that his ex-wife accused him of always loading his pockets with between $60-100k cash at ALL TIMES …………………this same man gave a former governor of abia state a full tanker of crude oil to sell and proceeds shared between them ……………

  • Alhajivinco

    The real issue for me is at what point cash became accessible to government officials. I believe it was brought about by Ibrahim Babangida. When my father was a civil servant, no cash was available. The only cash available was for ‘imprest’ – petty cash for stationery es and little things. Yet this cash was subject to scrutiny and had to be’retired’ (accounted for) after usage. Payment to third parties was made by vouchers and/or warrants issued directly to the payee. The oil companies do the same thing today. Payments to contractors, for example, are made after they have invoiced, the work has been checked for completion and the computerized payment systems they use (have been) activated. Thereafter, the contractor’s payment is transferred to the contractor’s designated bank. And in days past, the accountant general and auditor general had power to decline a frivolous request for cash tabled by a Premier or Governor. Now civil servants even hold government accounts in their individual names.

    • ukoette ibekwe

      Who are the civil servants that have government accounts in their names. Why does everyone suddenly think that the fabric of government service has deteriorated beyond what was obtained in the past. The problem with Nigeria is that we continue to use 19th century principles in the 21st century. We have a system’s failure, a system that is natured by patronage of the dumb over the enlightened. Imagine a mere commissioner of a state that could not source revenue internally to pay its workers being a minister of finance/national planning. Or Amechi who could not complete a monorail in his state as a Governor being made a minister whose portfolio includes the Nigerian railways.

    • A Aminu

      The same thing is still done when it comes to procedure. The difference between then and now is honesty which is lacking now. The othe ingredient missing is rule of law. The day when a culprit caught in the act goes unpunished, then dishonest civil servants and contractors line their pockets and they fear no inprisonment, dismissal, or disgrace. Here also the society has a role to play. Thieves are made chiefs in their villages, and praised as achievers and honest people are seen as fools and laughing stocks. Morality is abhored.

  • shola

    Why the state budget, when the governor takes it all. The constitution MUST see to this self- service mentality.
    No wonder why election in Nigeria is a do or die matter. Every election result ends in the appellant court. We have a very long way to go. The constitution must stipulate that any public office holder must declare his/her assets before and after the tenure in office.

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