How Gov. Lalong Allegedly Squandered N500 Million For Christmas Rendezvous

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Yakubu Busari

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Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has been accused of financial recklessness at a period the state revenue is dwindling.

It was alleged that Gov Lalong administration spent a whooping sum of N500 million to purchase Christmas gifts for his friends during the Christmas period.

The financial recklessness of the administration continued at a time state civil servants are owed arrears of salaries.

Gov Lalong is owing its workers and political appointees October, November and December 2015 salaries in spite of the bailout fund released to it by the federal government. The APC administration in the state has so far taken a bank loan of N10 billion since assumption of office 7 months ago.

A source revealed that the N500m spent by the government was sourced from local government’s monthly subvention and state government federal allocation for the month of November.

“All the 17 local governments got N12 million deducted from their allocation through the joint account while the remaining sum was approved by the governor to be taken from the state account.

“Contract for the supply of rice, cows and other items meant for distribution were awarded to somebody from Gov Lalong’ family who is believed to be the immediate younger brother to the governor,” the source said.

The source also alleged that the State House of Assembly has frowned at government spending huge funds without being appropriated. They law makers has vowed to use the 2016 budget as a base to curb the executive recklessness going on in the state by cutting down the proposed recurrent expenditure of government.

However, Director of Press to Gov Lalong, Mr Samuel Nanle has debunked the allegation, describing it as lies.

According to Mr. Nanle, “The present government cannot spend such amount for Christmas; we don’t have the luxury of spending such money, it’s all lies.

Mr. Nanle also exonerated Gov. Lalong’s Family from the supply of items distributed during the Christmas, saying, “The purchase was handled by a committee chaired by the Chief of Staff, it was a direct purchase by the committee, not by any contractor”

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