President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday December 1 said the limited development experienced at the local government level is caused by the state governors and local government officials who steal public funds meant for development.
Buhari, who was obviously livid, described the governor’s actions as an unfair treatment of his regime at the grassroots level.
Mr. President said this at a parley with members of the Senior Executive Course No. 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, which was held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
He gave an instance of an unnamed governor who misappropriated funds that was meant for local government development.
Buhari was speaking on a theme: ‘Strengthening Local Governance in Nigeria: Challenges, Options and Opportunities’
He said, “I found it necessary to digress after reading my speech and this digression is a result of my personal experience.
“This is my personal experience. If the money from the Federation Account to the State is about N100m, N50m will be sent to the chairman, but he will sign that he received N100m. The Governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants to share it with.
“And then the Chairman of the local government must see how much he must pay in salaries and to hell with development. When he pays the salaries of the big man, the balance he will put in his pocket.
“This is what’s happening. This is Nigeria. It’s a terrible thing; you cannot say the person who was doing this is not educated. He was a qualified lawyer, he was experienced, yet he participated in this type of corruption.
“So it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we find ourselves. As a leader, you sit here, with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us.”
The President asserted that his administration has made significant efforts to increase trust between the government and the populace, but he also noted that the report would offer guidance on how to provide good governance to the populace at large and ultimately restore their confidence in the government.
“It is obvious that the government cannot afford to pay lip service to the recommendations contained in this report.
“I assure you that the report will be treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves. The government will study the report with the view to implementing the carefully detailed recommendations,”
“The quality of the presentation, and the confidence with which they were made, strongly attests to the quality of training the participants received during the course. I congratulate you for justifying the confidence and trust reposed in each and every one of you by your respective nominations.
“I am also happy with the knowledge and discipline you have all openly demonstrated. I have been briefed on the rigorous training process you all underwent at Kuru. Your graduation, therefore, is well deserved,” the President told the 89 participants of Senior Executive Course 44.