Kogi governor ignores Reps, signs N99.9bn 2016 budget

Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Monday signed into law an appropriation bill of N99,998,674,261 for the 2016 fiscal year in spite of the National Assembly takeover of legislative functions in the state.

Five aggrieved lawmakers out of 20 had reportedly impeached Momoh Jimoh Lawal as Speaker on February 16, and named Umar Imam as replacement which resulted to crisis in the Assembly.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, later instituted a 10-man investigation panel to look into the crisis, at the end of which the affairs of the Kogi Assembly was taken over.

The House of Reps ordered the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to seal the Kogi Assembly complex, a move backed by the Senate.

But in clear disregard of the National Assembly which directed him to send the budget to Abuja for approval, Bello on Monday signed what he  he tagged, ‘Budget of Change’, which has recurrent expenditure of N63.12 billion and capital expenditure of N36.87 billion.

Bello promised to ensure 100% implementation of the budget, adding that a budget implementation committee will be set up in that regard.

The governor pointed out that in view of the dwindling allocation accruing to the state, government will ensure that the internally generated revenue of the state is improved upon to enable government meet its obligation to the people.

He said he would work to block all leakages of government finances to pave way for rapid development.

Members of the Kogi, led by Imam, had on April 12, passed a budget of N99.9 billion, which was about N25 billion higher than the amount earlier submitted to it by the immediate past Governor, Capt. Idris Wada.