…Says Council earns N9 billion in three years
…Expends N6.1 billion on salaries
….Laments cabal wants me out to plant stooge
By Chris Ochayi
The Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, yesterday, described as tissues of lies and imaginary fabrication the allegation by a organisation, Civil Society for Human Rights and Rehabilitation that the council earned N19 billion from Joint Account Allocation Committee, JAAC, and Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, in the last three years.
He said the allegation that AMAC received N13 billion from Federal allocation and N6 billion from Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, which they put total at N19 billion was unfounded and incorrect.
Hon. Candido, who was reacting to the last week protest to the AMAC Secretariat, by the civil organisation where it levelled some allegations against him, said the Area Council did not earn such amount between June 2016 and 2019 he assumed the leadership of the Council as alleged by the group.
It will be recalled that the CSO, during the peaceful protest, laid sundry allegations against the Chairman, which include, disregarding the Appropriation Act, Procurement Act, and other extant laws, running opaque administration and award of contracts to family members.
But Hon. Candido commended the members of the civil society organisation for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves during the protest, however, berated them for not been in possession of facts and figures, while describing their efforts a futile voyage into oblivion.
He said, funds earned by the Council earned accumulative of N9 billion, within the period under review which a cording to him, a whopping N6.1 billion was committed staff salaries and remaining channelled into the execute various projects that are ongoing in the Area Council.
Candido, revealed that while some of the projects have attained 100 percent completions and awaiting commissioning, others have advanced to 90%, 80%, 70% and some still at 60% completion stages.
Areas the projects were awarded include the rural electrification, rural water supply schemes, road construction and rehabilitation, primary healthcare and environment, empowerment and community development, business/market development, business vision and employment generation and agriculture department.
In terms of the allocation from the monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee, JAAC, Hon. Candido explained that there was no time the AMAC got more than N300 million as monthly allocation in the last three years.
He said although, the CSO had petitioned the legislative arm of Abuja Municipal Area Council to investigate him over the alleged infractions committed by him, but he was yet to be written or summoned by the legislators.
According to him, “On misappropriation of funds, that AMAC received N13 billion naira from Federal allocation and N6 billion from internally generate able, which they put the total to N19 billion, I wish that someday this Area Council can someday have this amount. “Because that can provide the service that is expected of us, but be that as it may I will not say we have not taken 1 naira from Federation Allocation, we have, but cynics and lazy criticisms cannot give you figures.
“So I expected that conservatively, I wouldn’t like to give a particular figure because I want us to do our work very well, I wish the Councillors take their time to do their findings and record that part of us here, I will also wish that the press men we invited also go to do some of this work.
“At the end of every month I go to collect allocation and the office is the office of the Permanent Secretary because he chairs our allocation of the committee and the six chairmen go there to pick what is already known as joint allocation committee file.
“And from the day I set my foot till day, indeed it was last week that we did the December allocation meeting and the need of the meeting I also bring back what is called jacket allocation file.
“The months from 2016 June which we started till today, the files are all lying here, documents don’t lie you will be able to take look at it in summary form, item by item and you will be able to see for yourself what comes into this area council as allocation,
Candido who said he runs open door administration added, that the issue of disregard of public procurement and appropriation act could not hold waters either, noting, “The Area Council is open to all citizens of this council.
“ I only provide political leadership and there are offices that handles whatever they may have alleged the procurement office from the day I sent my foot here to even the current tender that where about to carry out far as 2020 budget is concerned the procurement office is right at the door step of all residents of this area council.
“So I will wish that as press men you can take a look and make your findings particularly under the act that provide freedom of information, citizens have every reason to go to that office as alleged whether this area council has ever short-changed the procurement act.
“We have stood our ground, we publicized and advertised project processes are always maintained and followed, it will be better if you do it yourself in order to prove the point clear.”