Gov. Bello’s Plan to Sell Off Kogi Assets is Absurd, Ridiculous – Uk’Omu Igala

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Uk’Omu Igala, an umbrella body for all socio-cultural organisations in Kogi East senatorial zone, has kicked against plans by Kogi State government to sell off 10 of the state’s properties to finance the N151 billion 2018 budget of the state.
In a press statement signed by the national leader of Uk’Omu Igala, Major-General Patrick Akpa (rtd), the group declared that Kogi State is not Yahaya Bello’s enterprise.
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports that the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has perfected plans to sell off some assets belonging to the people of the State. Some of those choice assets include: Confluence Beach Hotel, Lokoja; Kogi Hotels, GRA, Lokoja; Kogi State Liaison Office, Ikeja-Lagos GRA; Kogi State Liaison Office, GRA, Kaduna; Lokoja International Market, Lokoja; Mega Terminal Park, Lokoja; Commissioners Quarters, Lokoja and State Assembly Quarters, Lokoja.
“We understand that the governor, drained of ideas on how to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Kogi State, is embarking on a wild and unthinkable venture of selling off landmark projects executed by previous administrations. He claims that the funds to be generated from the sale would be used to fund the 2018 budget.
“It is shocking that instead of adding value to these assets, and possibly initiating and executing developmental and revenue-generating projects, the governor is bent on blotting out the imprints of previous governors in his delusion and fixation that he has superior ideas to those of his predecessors.
“The excuse of generating IGR from the sale of the assets is untenable and, we totally reject it. It is on record that the IGR of Kogi State has taken a long leap in the last two years since Governor Yahaya Bello came to power. For one, the allocations to the state from the Federation Account have been bolstered by the increase in the revenue generation at the Federal level. Also, the Federal Government, in demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s magnanimity, has provided bailouts and paid Paris Club refunds to Kogi State. Under this atmosphere, Kogites had expected this government to embark on developmental projects instead of selling off the state’s assets.
“We call on the government to renovate and revive all these assets as they would generate, in the long run, more revenues than the government would earn if they are sold to government’s fronts. All that the state government needs to do is to appoint serious-minded management teams to superintend over these assets. Good corporate governance and appropriate management arrangements are necessary for effective asset management. If the government has discovered that the assets had been poorly managed, it has to set up a new transparency and accountability system for their management instead of throwing the assets away.
“Kogi State is not Yahaya Bello’s enterprise. Its lifespan is beyond the four years of this current regime. It is absurd and ridiculous that this government is bent on destroying legacies instead of making a positive mark in the state,” the statement reads.
The group urged members of Kogi State House of Assembly and the State’s Executive Council to call the governor to order and ensure that such a decision that would have negative effects on the current and unborn indigenes of Kogi State is not carried out.

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