OPINION: Half A Billion For The Upgrade of Old Government House? Governor Masari, No Please! By Mustapha Saddiq
It was quite long since I write on my beloved state -Katsina, since before the 2015 general elections. Ofcause that is not because I have nothing to write about or no opinion to express as many things happened (both good and bad) since the inception of H.E. Governor Aminu Masari’s administration. But as many optimists are quick to sing (or rather cry or wail) anytime an issue of incompetence or ineptitude is raised about this government -not withstanding wherether it is born out of genuine patriotism and the desire for the governor himself to step up or in some cases initiate or stop certain policies that are believed to bring positive change to the common man or otherwise – that ‘it is too early to judge’. So I decided to keep calm and just observe as things unfold.
Today, I will like to voice (or penned) my opinion on the recent contract for the upgrade and renovation of the old government house to the tune of a whooping sum of N496million awarded last week at the weekly state executive council meeting.
To the common man, N496million may appear like just figures but we’re talking about almost half a billion Naira.
To set the record straight, I was critic to the last administration on many of her unnecessary projects like fencing the Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic even as the student want more of hostels and classes that is why I felt oblique not to keep mute on this too.
Upto the time I am writing this, I still want to believe that this is not true because if what went viral on this issue is really true then to say the least, this is a typical project of misplaced priority. Not only because the said money is too much but also because the said structure is irrelevant and unnecessary even as it is useless to the life of a common man in Dankama or Damari.
Ontop of all, this is coming when His Excellency says almost on daily basis and at the slightest opportunity to speak publically that Katsina State don’t have money or that the state don’t get half of what it use to get from the federal government or that the previous administration has stole and squandered the state resources.
H.E. May have forgotten but many of us have not that during his electioneering campaigns, he openly criticises the previous administration for opting to built new government house rather than investing such monies to Education or Health sector. Now if building a new government house was a waste then (when the state gets more of federal allocation than now), I wonder what rehabilitation of old government house to the tune of half a billion is.
Is it not now that we should be more prudent in spending our scarce resources?
Fellow Katsinawa! Hear me out, N496million approved for this project is over 0.4% of the total 2016 budget presented by the governor. Again, the said amount for this upgrade (or whatever) is more than the money budgeted for the capital projects in the 2016 budget for the Science and Technical Education Board, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic and Bala Usman College of Legal Studies which constitute to 0.2%, 0.24% and 0.22% respectively. If this is not wrong, then I wonder what else would be.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for or which party you supported, this is about morality, this is about what is right and wrong. This is about our future and that of our children. I believe this whole issue is fraud and deceit of the highest order and I urge the governor to reconsider this unpopular move.