Senate rates Gov. Ugwuanyi best on utilization of bailout funds

By The Citizen

The Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration has described Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s utilization of the federal government bailout funds released to Enugu State government as impressive and in line with the principles of accountability.

Speaking with journalists after the committee rounded off its legislative oversight function on the utilization of bailout funds to the state, the committee’s chairman, Senator Abdullahi Gumel, said that their scrutiny of the state's record revealed that Governor Ugwuanyi was transparent and prudent in the use of the funds in a way the committee had not experienced anywhere else.

The senator applauded the peaceful atmosphere in the state and the governor’s innovative management of the funds, urging other states to take a cue from him.

“We have gone through the books. And as far as the bailout funds are concerned,  everything is in order. In fact, Enugu State has even gone further because we haven't seen this in any other states. We are not doing it because he was our colleague, we are doing it because we have seen with our eyes. This is an innovation and we are reflecting it in our report.

“We are proud of him. And we are proud of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and how they are working together. We’re happy that the atmosphere is serene, everything is calm and working well. We are going back to write our report,” said Gumel.

The committee had earlier on arrival paid a courtesy visit to the Government House, Enugu, where they were received by the governor.

Gov. Ugwuanyi informed them that the N4.207billion bailout fund his administration had received was judiciously deployed for the purposes of liquidating the outstanding pensions and subvention to parastatals, agencies and departments.

He explained that although the state had applied for bailout funds from the federal government totalling N40.9 billion, “we received only N4.207billion to be used for the liquidation of outstanding pensions and subvention to parastatals, agencies and departments'.

The governor commended the federal government for the “bold and timely initiative' in providing states with bailout funds for use in addressing critical issues of development. He also used the opportunity to further appeal for the refund of over N22 billion the state government has spent on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some federal roads in the state.

The committee chairman had also during the courtesy visit thanked the governor for receiving them and applauded his administration's achievements especially in the areas of good governance, infrastructural development and payment of workers' salaries, explaining that the visit was in furtherance of their legislative oversight duties to ensure transparency and accountability.