Masari probes predecessor’s fund disbursement to councils

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has directed local government council chairmen in the state to account for all the funds disbursed to them by his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, after the April 11 election.

Masari gave the directive to all the 34 council chairmen on Tuesday at a meeting he had with them.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Lawal Jari, said at a briefing late in May that government released over N8.5 billion to all the councils.

Jari said the funds would be used to pay May salaries and settle liabilities.

However, Masari said at the meeting the All Progressives Congress administration would promote due process and not condone corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the state.

“Under my watch, the state and local government resources must be judiciously utilised,” he said.

The governor also warned that anybody caught stealing government money would face the full wrath of the law.

He charged the chairmen to sit up and face their responsibilities with all seriousness and sense of responsibility.

Masari also enjoined the chairmen to give top priority to education, agriculture and the healthcare sectors.

He reminded them that those were the APC priority areas, hence the need for the local government councils in the state to accord them the necessary attention.

Masari also expressed concern over the delay in the sales of fertiliser to farmers in the state.

He said: “The rainy season has commenced.

“Farmers have no fertiliser.

“This is contrary to the claim by the previous administration that it had procured and left behind sufficient quantities of fertilisers for farmers.”

Responding, the state ALGON Chairman, Alhaji Lawal Dankaba, told the governor that the immediate past administration distributed 40 bags of fertiliser to each polling unit in the state.

Dankaba added that the distribution did not cover all the 34 local government areas of the state.

Masari, therefore, described the situation as scandalous, shameful and disgraceful.