Last Minute Contracts, Appointments By Buhari, Governors “Booby Traps’ For Tinubu – CSO
A Lagos-based Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has expressed reservations at the last minute award of contracts, making of new appointments into sensitive positions and presentation of supplementary budgets by President Muhammadu Buhari and some outgoing state governors, describing the new development as “booby traps for the incoming administrations”.
CACOL noted that Buhari up till now is still awarding contracts and making new appointments into some federal parastatals even at the twilight of his tenure, adding that he recently took a decision to take an $800 million loan from the World Bank “to hand out in paltry doles to some poor Nigerians as a cushion against the impacts of the planned removal of petrol subsidy from June.”
According to CACOL, on May 10, the Federal Executive Council, announced approval of a total of N327.34 billion for the ministries of transportation, sports, aviation, Federal Capital Territory and for other works including Ogoni projects, IRS building in Abuja and Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The anti-corruption organisation said some of the outgoing Governors must have probably taken a cue from Buhari citing the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, who it said recently made the headline after he reportedly approved N2 billion for the purchase of cars for himself and his deputy.
As if that was not enough, the outgoing governor, CACOL said, rushed to commission an uncompleted 500 units housing estate he started in 2017.
In Delta State, the anti-corruption organisation recalled that the outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, recently presented a N71 billion supplementary budget to the State House of Assembly.
CACOL stated that Okowa sent the budget 14 days before the expiration of his two terms in office.
The supplementary budget, it explained, was made up of N5.6 billion in recurrent expenditure and N65.5 billion in capital expenditure.
Similarly, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, CACOL stated, also justified his own decision to seek a N33 billion loan to complete pending projects. While Senator-elect and outgoing Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, allegedly made appointments and approvals of huge sums of money after the general elections.
CACOL recalled that in April, he reportedly gave approval for contract variation in sums amounting to N7 billion and has also appointed 23 new permanent secretaries and 15 director-generals in the state.
Although the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and governors-elect have not condemned the new development, probably because they are of the same parties with their soon-to-be predecessors or they had been helped in the elections, CACOL opined that the new development is a hidden bomb.
CACOL called on anti-graft agencies to monitor the loans being secured and appropriations being made by the outgoing administrations,
“We cannot but add our voice to condemn the recent actions taken by the outgoing administrations at the federal and states level concerning last minute rush to award contracts, sign new laws, and make appointments into key positions while they are packing their bags and baggages,” a statement made available to THE WHISTLER quoted CACOL’s Chairman, Debo Adeniran, as saying.
“While CACOL as an anti-graft organization acknowledges the fact that government is a continuum, it behoves on the outgoing administrations to consider the impacts their current actions would have on the incoming administrations, especially when they will be at rein of power in matters of days. It will be sacrilegious for an outgoing administration to impose a burden too heavy to bear on an incoming administration. It is a known fact that most of the last minute appointments being made now would be replaced by the new administrations while some of the laws would be revoked.”
The CACOL Boss added, “We would like to call on the President and the outgoing governors concerned to ensure judicious use of the funds or loans they have secured. They should also remember that they may be called upon to come and give account of their stewardship even after leaving office even as they must have lost their legal sheath popularly called “immunity”.
“We would also like to call on anti-graft agencies to beam their search lights on the loans being secured and appropriations being made by the outgoing administrations and ensure they are properly utilized, and they should not be slow to impose sanctions on anyone found wanton with the commonwealth of the people.”