Benue State’s Allocation: Wasted or Looted? – An Analysis by Hyacinth Aor

NV News

“No evil is mourned when it is gone” – William Shakespeare

With barely over a year in office, the government of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has little or no scorecard to show with the huge allocation being received by the state from the federal government.

The governor’s rightman anchor – cum strategist in the office of the Special Adviser to the governor of Benue State on Research, Strategy and Communications, had canvassed to his colleagues to present achievement projects for assessment by the people of Benue State, as they celebrate a year in office under the administration of governor Alia. All efforts to project the government’s one year in office fell on deaf ears with no response from ministries, departments or agencies. This indeed, indicated a year of wasted allocation or open looting?

It is pertinent to write a score card of every administration in order to know those who have performed creditably well and also to bring those who have performed poorly to the fore, and to also make projections about where they will be heading to, after they have handed over to a successive administration.

- Advertisement -

By May, 29, 2027, governor Alia who will be handing over after successfully completing a mandatory four year term in office.

With a rough take-off of governance by the Alia administration, the hysteria of “Yes Father Syndrome” is gradually going down; as the people of Benue State begin to regret little or no development of the State; but rather, a repainting of structures by acquaintances of the government of the day, creating loot and share among themselves which the people of the Benue State begin to regret and will never forget in a hurry, if the huge allocations received by the Alia administration is not properly utilized.

Corruption, dishonesty, disregard for the people of Benue has become a common feature of this administration. In fact, Benue State has been run like a family business between the governor and his cohorts.

The governor prides himself as ‘Mr. Infrastructure’, yet, when you pay a visit to the state, there is hardly any infrastructural development there. Infrastructures such as drainages have not been paid any attention as the rainy season take-offs. Again, residents will be thrown out of their homes. One may wonder why wasted efforts and allocation has been shared in the name of constructing an underpass in the heart of the city where less business activities are carried out; therefore, one wonders the yardstick he and his blind supporters use to describe him as ‘Mr. Infrastructure’.

With the rainy season, most of the roads in Benue will be impassable due to flooding, farm produce will become wasted due to bad roads, where vehicular movement to transport harvest to the markets will be grounded. This is a State where 95% of its citizens are farmers; little wonder there is massive poverty in the state.

- Advertisement -

In fairness to Alia, he is constructing two underpasses in Makurdi and Gboko towns. These projects however, there are the issues of inflated cost, and the construction is not up to the standard as contained on paper.

Apart from that construction, there is absolutely no other concrete works being executed by governor Alia within the last one year and a month.

The educational sector has no improvements compared to past administrations; even though the governor claims he has brought in best hands to drive the education sector by creating an agency to improve the quality of education in the state.

The issue of pension and arrears have not been cleared as promised during the political campaign days of the Alia train to clear all backlogs within his one hundred days in office.

Benue State at the moment has come to a stand-still with no industrial projects; even though Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC) was captured to have commissioned a bread and water factory. At the moment, production at the bakery and water factory has gone comatose. The fertilizer plant is nowhere to be found within Benue State; creating imaginations in the heart of the people – if the fertilizer is produced through the miracle and healing power of the governor.

The struggle of political power still mingles with those in the corridors of power in the Alia administration, preventing party stakeholders and Benue citizens from transparent government and the state treasury. The governor and his retinue of political aides who are feeding fat on the resources of the state will cry out that there is no money. What has been happening to the monthly allocations?

The total allocation of Benue State as provided by the Federal Bureau of Statistics from May 2023 – May 2024 stands at One hundred and Three billion, Eight hundred and Nineteen million, Seven hundred and Eighteen thousand, Eight hundred and Forty Two Naira, Thirty Four Kobo (103, 819, 718, 842.30)

Yet, the government of the day says, the monthly allocation is just a paltry sum? Talk less of the State internally generated revenue and other loans secured from the IMF, World Bank and European Union. These and many more questions are begging for answers – Wasted Allocation or Open Looting?

Benue State has suffered too long in the hands of dictatorial governance that milk every dime allocated to the development of the state. The major beneficiaries of the massive embezzlement are always likely to be the cronies and close associates of those within the corridors of power and the governor. They acquire choice properties both within and outside the state; property business has suddenly become a lucrative business.

As governor Alia embarks on a thank you tour across the 23 local government areas of the State; he must have it at the back of his mind to also tell the people of Benue State his greatest achievements for the State in the last one year anniversary of his administration with the huge allocations his government has benefited. But till then the Big Question on the minds of the good people of Benue State still remains – Wasted Allocation or Open Looting?

To the good people of Benue State, the general apathy by the people must change. A situation where the people fail to monitor every dime that government gets and spends is the reason for the massive looting and embezzlement by elected officials who certainly end up creating for themselves, a space in prison.

See below table flow of State and Local Government Allocations as provided by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

Hyacinth Aor, is a writer and social analyst who lives at No. 7 Market Lane, Wurukum Makurdi

Share This Article
Leave a comment