By Rayyanu Bala
Probity of Accountability especially in business of governance in Nasarawa state has been a rarity in the past. In the past the situations was akin to ”everybody to himself and God to all” in other words business of governance in the state at that epoch was characterized by wanton embezzlement of pubic fund under the pretext of pursuing people’s oriented programs and policies. Since the creation of Nasarawa state and the return of democratic rule, the song was the same. For the 12 years that the PDP held sway in the state nothing has changed, the horribly gruesome situations have escalated instead of abated.
When PDP was in power the culture of probity and accountability was thrown to the dogs. But with the coming of the present Al-makura led administration in 2011, we started noticing a paradigm shift; from culture of impunity and recklessness to culture of probity, accountability and the fear of God in running the business of governance in the state. Worthy of note was that the achievements so far recorded by the Al-makura led administration in all the sectors of the economy of the state was due to strict adherence to this shared beliefs ditto: Probity, Accountability and the fear of God. Probity,
Accountability and the fear of God has not only become a catch-phrase of Al-makura led administration but has indeed, became a fundamental principle of running a government in the state.
Without any fear of being contradicted, we can correctly assert that Governor Al-makura’s antagonists can only fault him perhaps on his style of leadership, hence human beings are not after all infallible or perfect, but they can not fault the administration which he led on probity and accountability in management of government funds.
It was precisely against this background that, the news of frozen of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) accounts over non-compliance with government directives to submit their account balances and other financial documents, did not took any keen observer of Al-makura led administration by surprise or made majority of people in the state amazed, knowing fully well the nature and character of his government over prudent management of public funds.
The state Accountant- General Yakubu Zakka who broke the news of frozen of MDAs accounts in the state re-emphasized to newsmen last week that Governor Al-makura decided to suspend all financial transactions of MDAs following their inability to make refund of unspent monies as requires by financial regulations guiding government expenditures.
Of-course, known financial regulations all over the world requires that at the end of every financial year all government financial transactions, from January to December, must be fully accounted for and failure to render such accounts by MDAs or any corporate bodies attracts out right suspension of such accounts to avoid fraud or something of that nature. The directive by the government that all revenue collections made during the financial year must be brought into account on or before December 31 also falls under same financial regulations which all together were meant to instill fiscal discipline in government business.
To further straighten the position of government on this issue, Zakka at the same press conference, also announced that Governor Al-makura directed that all impress issued during the financial year must be retired and any unretired amount would be classified personal and recovered from the salary of the impress holder. Indeed, this stern posture taken by the government regarding the management of public funds in the state, as highlighted above, is by no means a giant step towards ensuring probity and accountability in government business which Governor Al-makura is reputed for since he assumed office as governor of Nasarawa state in 2011.
Yes, for hindsight benefit, Al-makura led administration is widely believed to be very meticulous when it comes to issue of financial management which is also part of what leadership entails. Leadership entails ability to manage government revenue and expenditures creditably and to the general good of all. Since Al-makura came on board, all his obsessions are geared towards providing dividends of democracy for the general good of all the people of the state. I stand to be corrected anyway. But even the not so shrewd amongst us would but laud Governor Al-makura for his good work which cut across all strata of our endeavors as human beings and for his avid posturing in ensuring probity and accountability in management of public funds in the state.
To all discerning mind, the action taken by Governor Al-makura in freezing MDAs accounts ought to be seen as positive steps in enhancing accountability and good governance in Nasarawa state. This decision by Governor Al-makura needs to be applauded by all well-meanings individuals who are desirous of seeing the state move to the next level of development and entrenchment of culture of probity and accountability in management of public funds in the state.