Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state has vowed to recover funds paid for projects not executed by the previous administration in the state.
The governor stated this at the weekend in a chat with journalists at the Command Guest House, Bauchi, to mark his one year anniversary in office.
“Previous projects that were awarded by the previous administration such as the Soro-Miya Road. We are not going to let go of the money that Bauchi state has paid, we must get it back,” he vowed.
Governor Bala said where his administration cannot recover the state resources, it will approach the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC) to assist in recovering the funds.
The governor, who said his government is working hard to ensure that Bauchi people are not short-changed by the previous government, pledged to continue delivering dividends of democracy to the electorate.
“My administration will continue to be financially prudent in its spendings. The cash flow is very tight as the government pledged to pay N300 million every year for gratuities and pensions, but sometimes we pay less because what is paid is statutory,” he said.
Bala promised to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state to promote rapid development.
“We will boost our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N200 million to N1 billion in order to ensure rapid development of the state,” he added.
The governor, who revealed that strategies have already been mapped out to carry out the task, maintained that the only way to ensure rapid development of the state is to raise revenue
“Our IGR is so low at the moment. We don’t have to rely on federal allocation because it is no longer enough due to the shrinking economy,” Bala explained further.
He said arrangements have been concluded by the state government to hire a consultant to help the state achieve the plan, addiing that his administration does not want to overburden other sectors of the economy.
Speaking on COVID-19, the governor said that the pandemic has slowed down everything globally.
He expressed delight that Bauchi state has conquered the coronavirus disease, considering the small number of patients under management in the state.
“Out of the 235 cases we recorded, only 22 are on admission in the state now. We have been singled out as one of the states that has done so much in the fight against COVID-19,” he disclosed.
Bala said his administration has so far achieved so much during its first year in office, asserting that “we eare doing a very robust cash flow, management of resources and freeing resources where they are locked up by corruption, ineptitude and inefficiency.”
According to him, the present administration under his leadership is deepening and reinvigorating the bureaucracy in such a manner that they will look inward, and provide the needed services within limited resources.