In a surprising turn of events, Benue State Governor Hyacinth Alia has reportedly approved a staggering N2,040,780,000 to purchase vehicles for government officials, despite his earlier commitment to cutting costs. State financial records obtained by SaharaReporters indicate that this decision was made on September 5, 2023, raising eyebrows about the governor’s fiscal responsibility.
The records further reveal a series of questionable expenditures totaling over N40 billion in just five months, including payments for road construction, procurement of used vehicles, and alleged duplication of contracts for Hummer buses as palliative measures.
Sources within the state government expressed disappointment, noting that the actions of Governor Alia contradicted his initial promises to the people. A government insider commented, “To describe his government as wasteful is to be kind to him. What is happening with Benue’s resources under the watch of Governor Alia is worse than a locust.”
The governor’s spending spree reportedly includes a substantial amount for procuring 100 refurbished 2017/2016 Hummer buses and 50 fairly used Hilux 2018/2019 model vehicles. The company receiving these contracts is purportedly linked to the governor’s associates, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.
In addition to the vehicle expenditures, the financial documents indicate other questionable disbursements, such as N3,551,820.00 paid to seven accountants for attending the 2023 Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme in Benin, Edo State. Furthermore, N65 million was reportedly spent on replacing a 500kva JMG generator at the Main Power House, Government House, Makurdi.
Efforts to reach the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Tersoo Kula, for comments were unsuccessful when filing this report, adding another layer of opacity to the situation. As the people of Benue State grapple with economic challenges, Governor Alia’s alleged contradictory actions raise serious questions about financial prudence in governance.
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