Member representing Gembu Constituency in the Taraba House of Assembly Dr. Abubakar Jugulde has faulted the decision by Governor Darius Ishaku to embark on the construction of a new Government House.
He said the decision to embark on such project at this critical time was a misplaced priority.
Dr. Jugulde who is also a member of the finance and appropriation committee of the house, stated this on the floor of the Assembly while commenting on the 2017 budget proposals presented to the legislature recently by Governor Darius Ishaku for deliberation.
He observed that the decision of the executive to embark on a new government house that was estimated to cost more than N12 billion at a period when the state was finding it difficult to meet the basic needs of the people in the areas of potable water, healthcare, education and agriculture among others, was “insensitive and completely unnecessary”.
Dr Jugulde frowned at the inclusion of about N6 billion in the 2017 budget for the proposed Government House with a subsequent allocation of about N2.889 billion and N3.178 billion for 2018 and 2019 budgets respectively.
He observed that this proposals were being made at a time when the state and local government had a commutative arrears of N14.8 billion as pension, gratuity for retired civil servants and terminal benefits of past political office holders in the state.
The member also stressed the need to improve allocation to the agricultural sector which, he described as the mainstay of the economy of the state but which got about N4 billion in the 2017 budget.
He said that the state government did not do much in the sector in the previous year as there was no fertilizer, no farming implements and no veterinary drugs.
The legislator therefore urged members, who he said were the eyes and ears of the electorate, to study the budget estimates closely with a view to reversing some of the allocations and redirect same to projects and programme that would have direct bearing on the life of the common man.
“We are here to serve the interest of our people and not to toe the line of those who priorities their personal interests at the expense of the glaring needs of the people” he said.
Also speaking, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Alhaji Tanko Makarfi (PDP) Gassol I constituency kicked against the the proposal for a new government house describing it as a misplaced priority and a conduit pipe to siphoned government resources at the detriment of the masses.
The new government house planned by the state government is to be constructed in Kona village 7 kilometers away from the present one.