Activist rebukes Kogi govt, lawmakers over proposed Versity

Activist rebukes Kogi govt, lawmakers over proposed Versity

Thursday, August 20, 2020 8:59 am

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, APC candidate

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
Usman Okai Austin, a Kogi born activist has faulted the State House of Assembly for passing a bill for the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology without recourse to laid down guidelines.

In a statement he issued in Abuja on Wednesday, Okai said the lawmakers merely trampled on the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) guidelines.

He said he was at a loss as to how the state government planned to fund a new university when the existing State University’s teaching hospital remained underfunded and abandoned. “Current lawmakers in the Kogi state House Assembly are mere rubber stamp legislators. Posterity will judge them accordingly. The action of the state assembly members was hinged on criminal motive.

“It is illegal for the state to deduct 5% from local government allocation to fund a state project. The state government is only interested in how to divert local government funds.

“It is sad that Kogi State House of Assembly members are archaic and out of tune with current realities. NFIU guidelines reinforced the existence of local government councils as an independent tier of government established by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The amended NFIU  guidelines prevents state governments from making withdrawals from local governments’ funds. It is unfortunate that this is coming at a time people are clamouring for local government autonomy. 

Okay insisted that the government’s action is only designed and  aimed at achieving political gains and that the decision of the lawmakers is completely reckless and not in the public interest.

“This is a state that had witnessed exodus of notable and highly recognised academic staff from it’s own University over issues related to non payment of salaries but choose to embark on the gigantic project for political reasons. 

“Currently, state and local government workers are on percentage salaries, yet we want to embark on a new university for selfish reasons.” He described those who mooted the idea of a new university as “enemies of Kogi state,” adding that the new university will not stand the test of time.

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