Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The hardship being experienced by the people of Benue state at the moment may not be close to its end as the governor of the state, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia has reportedly diverted over N3.2 Billion from the N5B released by the federal government to cushion the effects of the the removal of Fuel Subsidy to his personal use.
According to investigation by Nigerian Concord Newspaper, Governor Alia also used part of the palliative funds for the purchase of leisure cars for himself and some government officials.
Recall that the federal government had few months ago released N5B to each of the thirty states across the country as palliative funds to ease the hardship of Nigerians as a result of the removal of Fuel Subsidy by the Bola Tinubu-led administration.
Immediately the funds were released, Benue governor, Mr. Alia stated that he would use them judiciously but financial records obtained by this newspaper indicated that the governor had used over N1.2B of the funds for his personal use.
Also in September, the governor released a whooping N2.1B to some companies belonging to his friends for the purchase of leisure cars for himself, his deputy and other top public office holders in the state.
However, records with the companies obtained by our reporter indicated that only N1.3B will be used for the purchase of all the cars which the governor had approved for himself and his officials while the balance of N800m which is a kickback will be returned to Governor Alia’s personal account.
Recall that Governor Alia on assuming duties as governor of Benue state promised that corruption of any form would not have a place in his administration but public analysists wonder how the same governor who promised prudence and transparency is now mismanaging government funds by diverting them to his personal use.
Media reports had at the beginning of this week indicted Governor Alia of awarding fake contracts to companies that belong to his cronies.
The report which was made available by a popular online media outfit based in New York on Monday stated that none of the contracts has been touched even though full payments were made to the contractors.
The journal accused the governor of receiving over N40b in the last five months with nothing to show for it.
Below are the fake contracts which the report accused Governor Alia of approving and making full payments for:
1. The construction/rehabilitation of 16no. Roads within Makurdi metropolis of Benue State (15.39km) (contract No. BSPPC-47/2023) ifo M/s Triacta Nigeria Limited;
2. Contracts for the procurement of fairly used Hummer 2/3 buses for palliative measures and used toyota hilux 2018/2019 model vehicles for security purpose ifo Lajec Engineering Services Ltd.
3. Construction of/rehabilitation of 16no. Roads within Makurdi Metropolis of Benue State (15.39km) contract no. BSPPC-47/2023 ifo M/s Triacta Nigeria Ltd.”
4. Replacement of one 500kva JMG generator at the Main Power House, Government House, Makurdi which a whooping N65m was paid for.