By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed has expressed dismay that Bauchi State is the only state in the entire federation that is grappling with paucity of funds at the Local Government level, attributable to the huge debt profile left behind by successive past administrations in the state.
The Governor, while describing the situation as very disheartening, said that the debt profile at the councils’ level has left the state government with no option other than to rely on monthly overdraft to pay salaries of Local Government workers.
Senator Bala Mohammed who was speaking Thursday during a meeting with Local Government council chairmen and heads of security agencies, also described the State and Local Government Join Account as a conduit pipe by successive governments through which public funds were siphoned.
The governor, however assured that the ugly scenario will not stop his administration from doing the needful, saying “We will continue to ensure that salaries, pensions and other allowances are paid to staff of LG. We are you that nothing will take away that responsibility”.
On security issue, the governor charged the LG chairmen who are the chief security officers of their respective areas to sit up, cooperate with security chiefs in their areas to ensure that there was no security breach.
He said, “You have to be security conscious, look out the criminals in your areas and hand them over to security agencies closest to you, we cannot afford to allow criminals run over our state, we have to be proactive”.
Governor Bala Mohammed declared, “Today, Bauchi state is regarded as one of the most peaceful in the country due to the untiring efforts of security agencies in the state, they have been doing well and relating well with us”.
On administration, he told the council chiefs, “It is you the people at that level know, you are closer to them than to us, but you are representing us, you must do that better. We did not interfere in your recent elections process because we believe in the choice of the people. It is now over to you to do the needful”.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Muhammad Sabi’u Baba has in an opening remarks said that the meeting was specifically held to discuss issues of administration at the Local Government level in order to positively impact on the lives of the people.
Alhaji Sabi’u Baba told the chairmen that as security officers of their respective areas, they have the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of every citizen residing in their areas, and called on them to ensure collaboration.