Icheoku says congratulations to the able governor of Niger State, Alhaji Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu for publicly declaring the total amount his administration has so far received and realized from internally generated revenue in the last 14 months. Icheoku says the way to go, Governor! There is nothing good like an open governance and the lack thereof is the bane of political office holders in Nigeria. According to Governor Aliyu, Niger State depends on Federal Government for about 95 per cent of their revenue with which to finance its expenditures. According to the governor, his administration had through prudent management been able to rejuvenate the state from infrastructural decadence, stagnation and bad administration for repositioning as one of the best three economies in the country.
"In the last 14 months, Governor Aliyu further said, his administration paid over 10,288,757,785.13 Naira salaries to civil servants and another 648,127,646.08 Naira on the allowances of political and public office holders. According to him, another 497,052 million Naira was expended on 2007 leave grants for 2007, while 713 million Naira was released in December as salary bonus for public workers. The sum of 211,958,831.69 Naira was released for the 2008 leave/transport grant, he added. others. The state, according to him, also received 31,306,906, 668:43 Naira from the Federation account for all the councils in the state in the period under review. The figure include 22,539,161,275.33 Naira from the statutory allocation, 3,135,213,693.34 Naira from the Value Added Tax and 5,632,585,699.76 Naira from the excess crude oil allocations.He said 13,307,465,993 Naira from the councils’ allocation was paid as salaries to local government staff, while 5,240,305,790.84 Naira was paid to the State Universal Basic Education (UBE) Board.Other expenditure by the administration in the last 14 months include 722,076,464. 03 Naira and 586,854.23 Naira to emirate councils and local Government Pensions Board".
Icheoku says that this is the single most important weapon to check the excessive looting of various treasuries by the executive including Federal, States and Local Governments. It was one most important legacy of the Buhari/Idiagbon regime where for the first time, Nigerians were told of the income and expenditure of their government. In that way every person knows what is in the coffers and can easily cross-check it against developmental projects and expenditure which will trigger necessary alarm should any discrepancy suddenly rear its corrupt-head. It is called accounting 101 and it needs to be made the law of the land of Nigeria! Governor Aliyu of Niger State has set the ball rolling and Icheoku calls on all other governors in Nigeria to follow suit and throw their hats in the ring to become more accountable governors! A government's not rendering accounts of its returns and expenses, encourages, aids and abets corruption; as nothing will serve as a red-flag or an indicator whenever these despicable politicians dip their filthy hands into the public purse for their personal gains/benefit. Without returns and expenses accounting, no one will know how much the states received, so it will in turn be very difficult to know how much was expeditiously used for the benefit of the state and how much was embezzled! Nigeria Legislature, please pass this OPEN GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY LAW and now!