By Peter Duru
MAKURDIâ€”The Benue State government has threatened to wield the big stick on any Local Government Council Chairman in the state who flouts its order for prudence over N2billion recently released to the council areas from the excess crude account.
The 23 council chairmen were therefore urged to observe strict fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency in the use of the funds.
The warning was handed down by the Special Adviser to Governor Gabriel Suswam on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Sam Ode in a meeting he held with the council chairmen in Makurdi.
Ode noted that the Suswam administration is renowned for its adherence to the principles of accountability and transparency in the application of public funds and so would not tolerate anything to the contrary at the third tier of government in the state.
The Adviser who also announced that the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has set up a monitoring team to checkmate activities of the councils in order to monitor their development activities, emphasized that the era of wastage of government resources on frivolities was over.
According to him, â€œWe are all living witnesses to the stunning accomplishments of the Governor Gabriel Suswam administration which has been attested to by visitors and natives alike. And just to tell you that the era of lip service is over in our state, a few days ago the Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili, during an official visit to the state went round parts of the state and commended the government for transforming the landscape of Benue State and even described our state as â€˜a huge construction siteâ€™.
â€œThese encomiums on the administration are functions of genuine determination on the part of the government to positively impact on the lives of the ordinary people of the state who, for several years, craved for purposeful leadership; and that is the more reason why you must key into the Suswam vision and complement the efforts of the administration at transforming the rural areas,â€ Ode said.
He urged the Council Chairmen to key into Our Benue Our Future working document of the Gabriel Suswam-led administration, stressing that the overwhelming accomplishments of the administration especially in the provision of basic infrastructures across the state, were a product of selfless commitment by the Governor to providing purposeful leadership to the people of the state.
Ode, urged the local Government Council Chairmen to ensure even distribution of projects in their councils, as he would personal continue to monitor activities at the councils areas through surprise visits.