The Niger State Government has asked former Gov Babangida Aliyu to refund the sum of N2.9 billion being the money which his government allegedly took ostensibly as a loan on the eve of his exit from office.
Dr Ibrahim Dooba, Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, stated this in a statement issued on Wednesday obtained by the Street Journal.
According to the statement, the misappropriated money belongs to the people of Niger State and the former governor must return it immediately as the new administration was not interested in witch-hunting any past leader.
“They took this loan on the eve of their departure. And as was customary with that administration, they did nothing with the money.
“You can’t collect a loan on behalf of the people and share it among yourselves. That’s literally what they did. They simply raised a list and allocated money to those on the list.
“The office of the SSG for example, was given N600 million. The records did not say what he would do with the money. Well, we want our money back. The money belongs to the people”, it said.
The Bello administration said it had prioritised the needs of the people, stressing that such looted but recovered funds would be expended on projects.
“Our people need food, shelter, security, roads, water and so forth. For example, the governor wants to start with the provision of potable water and in the coming weeks, we’ll provide water at predictable intervals to Nigerlites.
“On the problem of electricity, we have started an arrangement to rent a power plant from overseas to provide regular electricity before a permanent solution is found.
It listed the administration’s priority road projects which needed urgent attention as: the Minna-Kataeregi, Kontagora-Tegina, Minna-Suleja, Bakeko-Katcha, Kaffin-koro, Kuta-Sabon Gari and Maitumbi-Maikunkele roads, among others.