The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State, has claimed that the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello-led All Progressives Congress (APC), is selling off the state’s assets, thereby “mortgaging the future of the state to families and friends.” Recall that the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, received a cheque of four hundred million naira (N400 million) meant for the purchase of three hectres of the land of Minna City Centre representing 1/3 of the land presented to him in his Office by Alhaji Mohammed Sirajo, Executive Director, Jaiz Bank.
The SSG in a statement signed by his Information Officer, Lawal Tanko, explained that the Minna City Centre, which is situated in the heart of Minna remained an eyesore, hence the need for Government to improve the economic situation and wellbeing of the people of the State by putting the place into viable economic use. But, in a statement signed by the PDP’s Publicity Secretary, Suleiman Ahmed Aliyu, the PDP said it finds it rather disturbing, adding that “it is an indirect and cryptic effort towards mortgaging the future of the state to people that could at best be termed, families and friends (F&F) of people in Government.” According to the statement, “the APC-led administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State at the twilight of its incompetent administration has chosen to start auctioning the state’s most valued assets to cronies and friends.
“The PDP is well aware that procurement processes have not been observed and in the past seven years contracts were never advertised for Nigerlites to bid, but dished out to people with ‘Long legs’ and connection with people in Government.” The PDP said that “this has left the state pauperized and the citizens, especially the youth wallow in joblessness as outsiders are brought to do even the least of unskilled labour, not minding the availability of such unskilled and semi-skilled labour in the state. “As though that is not enough and disingenuous, the Minna City Centre land, which is reserved for the Central Business Area Development, is now being sold. “The PDP is aware that 1/3 of the land has been sold for a chicken feed of N400 million, and the mall sold as well. “We suspect that these sales are the final stage of mortgaging the state’s critical assets to cronies and families of people in key Government positions.” Lamenting, the Party said it is very unfortunate that seven years after budgeting close to N1 trillion no single project worth N5 billion was commenced and commissioned by the APC-led Government of Governor Bello. “Now that the APC has been served a quit notice to pack and leave in 2023 by Nigerlites, they are making frantic efforts to share the common patrimony of the state to a few individuals,” the statement further read.