From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
The government of Gombe state has given a hint as to why the former governor of the state Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo was probed despite allegations of mismanagement of the Paris Club Fund and other funds given to the state by the federal government.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya who took over from Dankwambo as the governor of Gombe state in 2019 had on several occasions accused of mismanagement, negligence, and taking needless loans leaving behind huge financial liabilities for the state.
While receiving the report of his transition committee in June 2019, Governor Yahaya described the Dankwambo’s administration as “clueless, heartless and reckless” stating that it is surprising to see a former Accountant General that served Nigeria allow finance management in a small state like Gombe.
However, speaking at a press conference on Monday in Gombe, in what look to be a sharp ‘u-turn’ the state commissioner of finance Muhammad Gambo Magaji, revealed that Governor Yahaya’s APC led-government couldn’t find reasons to probe or question the past administration.
Despite, alleging that parts of the Paris Club Refund to the state were paid two weeks before the end of the Dankwambo’s administration and that funds were utilized for a purpose it meant for the commissioner said, “we don’t have any reason to question but to only ask their conscious. For them to search their conscience”.
“When we came in as government in 2019, what we meet in the treasury was less than N800 million that was the whole amount bequitted to this government by the past administration, but because the government is a continuity, whatever you meet you continue and unfortunately the Paris club refund is the only one that is not a liability to this government.
Salary bail-out and budget support are all facilities, so it is a two-way cost for this government. We are paying loans and also be devilled with the liability of the gratuity that has not been paid. So, while we are straining ourselves to pay this gratuity, every month that passes we also pay the loans that have been taken by the past administration for this particular purpose of gratuity payment and salaries which was utilized for other reasons I presume,” the commissioner stated.
He assured that Governor Yahaya’s administration is a responsible government that will not allow such acts. He said, “that is why even our borrowings are only for capital expenditure, and for every item we take there is a particular infrastructure that is being financed because when we leave one people will want to see what we have done and it will be clear that we have a transparent and accountable government in Gombe”.