By Sulaiman Achema, Lokoja
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahya Bello has said that because he has no political godfather to service with state’s funds, the available resources are utilised by his government to work for the benefit of the citizenry.
Addressing newsmen during his first anniversary in office at Lokoja, he pointed out that his administration sought the intervention of God for good governance upon assumption of office.
He added that after he thoroughly thought of the way forward, his administration applied common sense which is now making the state better than what he inherited from the previous administrations.
According to him, in as much as the state is not corrupt resources from internally generated revenue will always be available for the common good.
“Like I said, we were somewhere watching and observing our dear state. But since we came in, we sought God to assist us, and He assists all of us. We wore our thinking caps and applied common sense, and we’re getting better.
“It’s a common sense that if there’s no corruption, the resources will be available. It’s a common sense that when you tap into your internally generated revenue, there will be resources, and as such, all we need to do is to apply it to get things done.
“If you don’t have godfathers that you service periodically through the coffers of the state, the resources will be available for the state. I can assure you I don’t have any, so why don’t I use the resources for the people ?”
Owing to the enabling environment that the state has no provided, Bello noted that it is now attractive to investors, who are coming in droves to key into the business opportunities in Kogi.
The Governor dropped the hint that the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to make electricity available for the state, noting that before end of his tenure Kogi would have sufficient power to incentivize investors.
Continuing, he added that “We have the land. We designated certain sections of the state as industrial areas. That one is already there. The land is fertile, and we’ll prepare it for investors to come on board.
“I’m sure before the end of the first quarter of this year, a lot of them would have sprang up, because they are more or less falling onto each other now to come to Kogi State and invest.”
Promising to be fair to would best investors of the state, he said that political will is very key to the industrialization of Kogi, stressing that investors will not be shortchanged.
According to him, a situation where governor or his aides demand kick-backs from investors scares businessmen away from the state, but he would rather join force with President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption .
He submitted that “We would rather partner with you. Bring your funds, meet our own resources and we’ll ensure that your investment is safe and secured. So, that political will is very important and we have it greatly.”
Bello revealed that Kogi is taking advantage of the water that it has to develop agriculture to create job and wealth for its citizenry, which prompted his trip to Omi dam.
The Governor said that the state has declared a state of emergency on agriculture, which is expected to yield unbelievable positive results in the next one year.
Responding to the accusation that he bought vehicles for his aides without paying workers salaries, he explained that his administration inherited a state where the past administration collected almost five months federal allocations along with the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) without paying a single dime to the workers and contractors. He vowed that the state “shall recover every single dime.”
Bello added that : We came on board and cleared the minimum of that five months arrears. Because of the screening exercise that was ongoing then, as they cleared we paid, as they cleared we paid. Aside few cases, Kogi State paid workers both current and arrears before December 20th, so we’re up to date. Let me set the record straight.