President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called out governors for stealing from local government council allocations.
He started this after delivering his speech at the presidential conversation for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House.
The president noted that personal integrity is fundamental in the operations of government. He recounted one incident where a state governor would get funding on behalf of his state’s council areas but would then send half of that funding to the council chairmen.
“If the monies from the federal government to state governments is N100 million, let’s put it at N100 million — N50 million will be sent to the chairman with a letter that he will sign that he received N100 million,” he said.
“The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wanted to, and then the local government chairman will say how much he must pay as salaries. To hell goes development. Monies for the salaries will be given, and the balance he will put in his pocket.
“This is happening in Nigeria, and it’s a terrible thing. You cannot say the person doing these was not educated, he was a qualified lawyer, he was experienced, yet he participated in this type of corruption.”
According to him, these actions displayed the type of dishonest behaviour that is currently endemic to Nigeria and undermines progress by distributing funds intended for local council administrations.
“So it’s a matter of conscience, whichever level we find ourselves. As a leader, you sit here with all the sacrifices the country is making by putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead,” he added.
“The fundamental thing is personal integrity. May God help us.”
In his speech, Buhari congratulated the Senior Executive Course 44 students on finishing their program successfully. He urged them to revitalise and re-energise leadership at all levels of institutions.