Assembly to Governor: Sack SSG over N248.5m unaccounted funds

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The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday urged Governor Abdullahi Sule to relieve the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed-Tijani, of his appointment for failing to account for over N248.5 million released for schools rehabilitation.

The fund was released during the tenure of the SSG as Commissioner of Education in the immediate past administration.

Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, Speaker of the Assembly, announced the House resolution after the lawmakers deliberated on the report of an Ad-hoc committee that investigated the N1 billion released in 2018 for renovation and fencing of public Secondary schools in the state.

The Assembly asked Ahmed-Tijani to refund the over N248.5 million unaccounted funds to the coffers of the state government.

The Assembly noted that the former Commissioner had displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetence and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.

Abdullahi said: “Based on the resolution of the Assembly, His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Sule, should relieve the SSG of his appointment.

“I request the Clerk to communicate the Assembly’s resolution to the governor for immediate action.”

The speaker called on Sule to, as a matter of urgency, implement the resolution in the interest of peace, development, accountability and to serve as deterrent to others.

According to the speaker, based on the committee’s findings, N873,233,942.60 was expended based on information from the Payment Vouchers, excluding five per cent deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation, as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.

He added: “The total released contract sum was N1,084,000,000 only, if N873,233,942.60 is deducted from the total contract sum, N210,766,057.40 will be unaccounted for.

“Then add 5 per cent Monitoring and Evaluation, which is N37,718,499.19, the total unaccounted funds will amount to N248,484,556.60.”

Abdullahi also urged the government to declare a state of emergency on all ongoing projects to ensure completion.

He said: “All contractors who completed their work should be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors should be refunded to government coffers immediately.

“Funds should be released to contractors who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work.”

He also called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation or fencing of the schools to do so within one month or face the consequence.

The Speaker urged the Ministry of Education to take on the spot assessment of all uncompleted projects to determine the level of work done and make funds available for their completion.

Earlier, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali (APC-Lafia North) moved the motion to relieve the SSG of his position.

Alhaji Ibrahim Muluku (APC-Nassarawa Eggon East) seconded the motion.

The legislators unanimously adopted the committee’s reports and urged the governor to relieve the SSG of his position.

It would be recalled that the Speaker has constituted the Ad-hoc committee on March 17 to carry out thorough investigation on the utilisation of the N1 billion approved for the renovation and fencing of public secondary schools in the state.

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