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Bello vows to recover looted funds from contractors, civil servants

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has vowed to recover all stolen funds from the state coffers through the “ghost workers and ghost schools syndrome’’ by some civil servants.
This is contained in a statement issued in Lokoja on Sunday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy, Alhaji Abdulmalik Abdulkareem
and made available to newsmen.
The statement noted that the governor said this during an interactive session with selected youths and groups in the state
It said the session was organised as part of activities to mark the 100 days in office of the governor.
According to the statement, the governor is also bent on recovering monies collected by some contractors for non-existent projects under previous administrations.
It said that those behind the establishment of ghost schools and recruitment of ghost teachers across the state to siphon public funds would be identified and made to refund such monies.
Bello expressed shock that a large chunk of the state’s funds which could have been used for development and better the lots of the people “found their way into the pockets of political godfathers and hangers on’’.
“The staff verification exercise has uncovered fraudulent activities of some civil servants.
“This government will definitely recover this looted funds and it shall be channeled towards the provision of basic social amenities for the people, especially those at the grassroots,’’ he said.
The governor said that no society could make progress without the core values of honour and integrity.
He promised to create a level playing ground for all citizens irrespective of religion or tribe.
According to Bello, the government has initiated new ideas to shore up the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state so as to reduce its over reliance on the monthly allocation from federation accounts.
To this end, he said that the task force on forestry recently set up by government had generated more than N13 million from designated check points in April alone.
He added that the revenue realised from check points in the past were shared by fake contractors and unscrupulous civil servants.
Bello told his audience that he would not force projects on communities in the state, saying that projects would be cited based on the need of the people and charged them to always put Kogi first in all their endeavours.
The statement also quoted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Empowerment and Sports , Mr Aromeh Adoji as saying “the state has an estimated youth population of over 1.8 million.’’
Adoji said that government had entered into agreements with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some other organisations on youth and women empowerment programmes improve their lot.
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