Benue: Alleged N20Bn Fraud, Fictitious, Spurious – State Govt.


The Benue State Government has expressed dismay over reports by ‘Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN)’ alleging that there was a missing N20 billion in the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, in Benue State.

A statement by Dr. Denis Akura, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs said that GICN tried unsuccessfully to mislead the unsuspecting members of the public with glorious fallacy.

Akura explained that Governor Hyacinth Alia whose standpoint is prudent management of resources, did not direct his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, to monitor the diversion of over N20 billion federal allocation aggregated to the local governments.

The Special Adviser said that it was important to noted that as at June 2023 – 2nd October 2023, he was not at the helm of affairs at the Bureau thus, making references to him within the period only exposes GICN’s main intention for the petition.

In the words of Akura; “It is on record that on assumption of duty at the Bureau, I made made it clear to all staff at the Bureau that I was directed by my boss to strictly adhere to the ‘workable administrative framework designed to restructure, revamp cum return the lost glory at the local government administration in Benue State.

“It is unfortunate that GICN completely exposed itself once more of the mischievous or stark ignorance or both on the running and management of the Bureau. In Benue State, the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs no longer controls the federal allocation or any funds of the local government areas.

“A quasi financial autonomy has been granted to the Local Governments where the aggregated federal allocation of the Local Government goes directly to each and every Local Government Area’s Accounts.

“The Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as mandated by Governor Alia, only supervises, monitors and coordinates the affairs of the 23 Local Government Areas through her Directorate of Monitoring and Inspection,” he said.

The Special Adviser said that for transparency, the designated administrative framework has also directed all the Local Government Area Caretaker Committee Chairmen to as a must, be crediting their IGR into the Local Government Area Accounts before transferring into the expenditures account to spend on the Local Government policies, programmes and projects.

Akura explained that all these decisions were deliberated and approved in the monthly Local Government Joint Account meetings, adding that the same administrative framework has returned normalcy in the regular payment of Local Government salaries, imprest, pensions and gratuities; upfront payment of fresh retirees entitlements on or before 25th of every month with immediate enrollment on the pension payroll.

He also said that proposals of massive infrastructural development are collected by the Bureau across the 23 Local Government Areas by the management of the Bureau, saying that within a short time, the Chairmen will soon be given permission to prepare their local purchase orders to ignite massive infrastructural development ranging from overhaul renovation of the Local Government quarters, installation of street lights, and opening of ruler access roads to better the lives of ruler dwellers in Benue State.

Akura further said; “The management of the Bureau does not have the mandate to share palliatives nor Christmas relief materials as alleged in a section of the media.

“Finally, hatchet jobs of this nature are to be expected, and we are expecting more to come in the nearest future, especially now that the reforms in various sectors of government by the Alia administration continues to gather steam.

“Governor Alia promised and declared that Benue people deserve to know what happens with their money. Therefore, we are not afraid of any petition and we shall not hesitate to reply to any. We have nothing to hide,” he said.

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