• NGF backed programme –Uduaghan
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYEN and PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku has denied allegations that the National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) is a Federal Government programme, saying the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) approved the tour.
This was even as the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan confirmed that all the governors had agreed on the programme, insisting it was necessary at this time in the history of the nation, to showcase developmental projects that impacted on the lives of Nigerians.
The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole had declared that he would not spend the state’s resources to finance the Federal Government-sponsored NGGT being led by Maku. Oshiomhole, said he had opposed the proposal of state government sponsorship of the team when the matter first came up at a meeting of the NGF. Oshiomhole, who rued the proposal from the team, said: “Whenever Edo State Government officials travel to Abuja for official duty, the state takes responsibility and not the Federal Government. “So, it is inappropriate to use Edo State tax payers’ money to finance Federal Government programme.
If they pay me courtesy visit, I will receive them, but I don’t have a dime to spend on them because I do not need them to come and tell Edo people how I have built roads, schools, among other things. My achievement speaks for me.”
But Maku at the Goverment House Asaba where he paid courtesy call on the governor to kick-off the good governance tour in the state, said contrary to comments, the tour was a national programme support by the NGF.
He said the programme after rigorous debate at both the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Economic Council (NEC), which had all 36 governors present and amendments made, the template for the tour was adopted.
The state Governor, Uduaghan said the state was in support of the programme because it demonstrated that the Federal Government had nothing to hide and wanted its administration scrutinised and assessed by the people. “I want to join you in confirming and reaffirming that we all agreed on this programme. Is very necessary at this time of our nation. Issues of development hardly get reported in the media. No doubt there is room to do more.
As a state, we are very supportive of this programme. “Don’t be discouraged. The whole mark of leadership is that you will hear the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m happy the ugly has not deterred you,” he said.
…It’s a scam –ACN
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described as a huge scam and an illegality the Good Governance Tour (GGN) currently embarked upon by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and a retinue of people. The party said the tour must be stopped forthwith and those behind it made to account for the public funds they had collected in the process.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for rejecting a multi-million-naira proposal from the minister asking the state government to bankroll the Edo leg of the tour.
It said such a tour, as currently being led by the minister across the country, was an illegality in a federalism (the system of government which Nigeria is running) because it distorted the constitution and gave the impression that the Federal Government was a supervisor of the various states “Under our federalism, no state is subject to any control from the Federal Government, and no governor is mandated to report to the president.
To now have a team assembled by the Federal Government inspecting the projects being carried out by the various states is not only fraudulent and illegal, but amounts to a blatant waste of public funds. It is a carry-over from the days of military rule under which Nigeria was governed as a unitary state. “It is also a case of double jeopardy for the states, whose projects are made to look like they are being executed by the Federal Government, while at the same time they (states) are being made to pay for the meaningless tour. “We say, unequivocally, that this tour fits into other fraudulent schemes concocted by this Federal Government to swindle the people, enrich a few and pad its war chest for the 2015 elections, and we are talking here of SURE-P as well as the oil subsidy and the pension fund scam. This jamboree must end today.” ACN said. The party asked whether the Federal Government that initiated the tour had allocated any funds to it, adding: “If this answer is yes, why are states being asked to cough out millions of naira for it. And if the answer is no, why must states be made to pay for a Federal Government-initiated tour?” It added: “If the Federal Government has any project to showcase anywhere in the country, it is its prerogative to do so without extorting money from the states. And where it has nothing to showcase, it is fraudulent to be showcasing the projects embarked upon by state governments, many of which are not even under the same party as the Federal Government, hence they have their own mandates based on their party manifestoes. “Would not it be laughable to see the Minister of Information questioning contractors of projects being executed by state governments or issuing ultimatums to contractors he did not hire? Minister Maku should immediately put an end to the jamboree he is leading, declare all the public funds he has collected in the name of this tour and return such to the state governments that have been swindled under the so-called Good Governance Tour.”