The Congress of All Progressives in Sokoto State Chapter has criticized the administration of Governor Aminu Tambuwal for alleged irregularities in the state budget and incessant loan requests.
APC Sokoto Chairman Alhaji Sadiq Achida said the 2023 Budget submitted to the state Assembly indicated little recognition of people’s well-being and improvement of critical sectors across the state.
He made the allegations at a press conference on Tuesday in Sokoto.
He said the spending of 1.5 billion naira for vehicles for political office holders, the duplication of projects, the 914 million naira for COVID-19 provisions and the acquisition of dilapidated buildings belonging to NICON to the tune of 300 millions of naira have nullified the priority needs of the citizens.
The party chairman noted that seven years of People’s Democratic Party administration in Sokoto state recorded high poverty rates by the National Bureau of Statistics.
According to him, the scarce attention paid to the development of health, education, society and infrastructure had necessitated the floating of poverty among the citizens.
“In the budget, we saw nothing more than the misplacement of priorities, a set of contradictions designed to elevate the personal comfort of political office holders, beyond the provision of essential services for the people.
“It is disheartening that the governor has said little or nothing about the performance of the outgoing budget, instead choosing to bury the details of his government’s failures to avoid public scrutiny,” Achida said.
The party chairman added that the party had sided with APC lawmakers in the state assembly in the standoff, which stemmed from moves to secure additional loans from the government.
He said the request to secure around N3.5 billion of internal loans was not necessary as the moves met strong resistance from APC chamber members.
According to him, based on presentations by assembly members, the chamber had approved a total of N89 billion in loans since its inauguration after the last election.
He argued that the expenditures did not perform commensurately to justify further additional borrowing.
”With the latest request, APC members insisted that the political heads of the relevant ministries or departments should be invited to inform the chamber about the suitability of the loans.
“We call on the banks contacted to be cautious as the current government mandate has only a few months to go,” he added.
However, when contacted, Sokoto State Information Commissioner Akibu Dalhatu said APC misunderstood governance and embarked on malicious actions against the Tambuwal administration.
Dalhatu argued that Tambuwal had transparent and accountable leadership as each amount was explained with a compelling spending purpose.
He said that the budget was people-centred as all stakeholders were involved from its formulation to its execution.
The commissioner said the loans were requested based on reasons and had a direct impact on the infrastructure and well-being of people in the state.