President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, expressed opposition to the “unfair treatment” of the administration at the local government level by state governors.
The President spoke extempore after delivering his speech at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari, who cited a personal experience involving an unnamed governor, portrayed the sort of corrupt practices perpetrated by some governors in dispensing resources meant for local councils’ administrations.
He said it beats anyone’s imagination how some state governors would collect money on behalf of council areas in their states, only to remit just half of such allocation to the council Chairman, who would further deplete the remittance in further pilfering of public resources.
“Speaking from personal experience, a Chief Executive of a state, a qualified lawyer, trained, the treatment of local governments, what they did, this is my personal experience. If the monies from the federal government to state governments is 100 million (naira), let’s put it at N100 million. N50 million will be sent to the chairman with a letter that he will sign that he received 100 million.
“The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wanted to and then the chairman of the local government will see how much he must pay in salaries, to hell goes development. Monies for the salaries will be given and the balance will put in his pocket. This is what is happening.
“This is Nigeria, it’s a terrible thing, You cannot say the person who was doing these was not educated, he was a qualified lawyer, he was experienced, yet he participated in this type of corruption. So, it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we find ourselves. As a leader, you sit here, with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us”, he said.
The President promised that the recommendations contained in the presentation of SEC 44 would be painstakingly studied by the government with a view to implementing its recommendations.
President Buhari, who said his administration had done so much in building trust between the government and the people, stated the report would largely assist in the provision of good governance to the people at the grassroots levels and by extension win back their trust in government.
‘‘It is obvious that government cannot afford to pay lip-service to the recommendations contained in this report.
‘‘I assure you that the Report will be treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves. Government will study the report with the view to implementing the carefully detailed recommendations,’’ he said.
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