JOS - Plateau State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blasted Governor, Simon Lalong for missing the N43.4 billion World Bank grant shared to 24 states of the federation by the Federal Government.
A statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, John Akans said Lalong owed Plateau people serious explanation as to how the state missed the fund.
“The PDP is demanding immediate explanation from the governor of Plateau state, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong over the disqualification of the state from benefitting from the N43.416b World Bank grant (SFTAS) under the International Development Agency/International Finance Agency Sub- sets of the World Bank group which was shared among 24 states in the country.
“The party believed that instead of the misleading narrative by the APC agents that it is merely being victimised, the governor owes a great explanation to the people of Plateau.
“This is because it is not a politically-sourced money, whereby the governor, as the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum would have picked it as a bonanza due to his favoured position as a good political son of the president.”
The party observed that the funds were granted to states based on merit and satisfactory delivery of good governance, transparency and accountability in public service.
“We believe that a state like Plateau under your government was disqualified because of its unfocused governance that operates outside the global norms and circle of transparency . What a shame!”
The PDP said the unhealthy development had further exposed the weakness of the APC leadership in the state which had not competently competed with its counterparts to earn the relief fund.
The party said: “The situation is another manifestation that has further exposed the deceit, lies and failure of the APC in the state, and indeed a grave deficit and incompetence of a governor among his peers.
“With a confirmation coming from the federal Ministry of Finance itself which shared the money to the states, it gave details of how the money was shared, which is only to states adjudged to have performed well, particularly in areas of fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability.
“How can a party continue to politicise and monopolize governance at this digital era of public administration and expect good results? No wonder the state has not responded because it lacks what to say as it is not a political matter where PDP will be blamed as usual.”
The party urged Lalong to challenge the World Bank if he feels he was qualified by his performance and yet denied the grant.
“Unfortunately for Governor Lalong, this money does not come through political loyalty or connection, but to states that function through hardwork and good strategic planning towards achieving set goals and strict adherence to due process of fiscal responsibility.
“It is on record that states that benefited were adjudged to have also achieved improved financial reporting and budget reliability, increased openness and citizens engagement in the budget process and implementations and also in improved cash management leading to reduction in revenue leakages through implementation of state Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
“Government should tell the state what they needed to do and didn’t do. If indeed they met the requirement and were denied, let them say so boldly with facts to back the assertion for the people to know.” (The Sun)
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