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Published by The Nation on Sun, 12 Aug 2018

THE Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) honoured four governors across the country, including Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, at the ALGON annual Investiture and Awards Nite held penultimate week in Abuja.Badaru was recognised as the best governor in infrastructure provision even as he was also singled out for his role in saving some local governments from insolvency in 2015/2016 when allocation revenues were at their lowest.ALGON, in its citation during award nite, said, before salary bailout became a popular catch phrase in the states, Badaru was quietly augmenting the allocations of almost 70% of his 27 local governments so they could settle recurrent liabilities till the financial situation improved. This went on from November 2015 to March 2016, and this process helped thousands of local government employees to continue getting their pay cheques on schedule without realising that a rescue operation was in place at the state level.According to the chairman of ALGON, Gambo Tanko Kagar, the audit panel came up with a figure of N91.6 billion in ongoing projects, mainly roads hurriedly awarded between January and May 2015, and N13.6 billion unpaid vouchers. Over N11 billion discounts were negoti ated with the contractors with N8.2 billion savings realised on road contracts alone, and contractors were given a commitment to instant payment of verified valuation certificates which prompted them to resume work at a dizzying pace.As at May 2018, 716.5 km of those inherited projects were completed with Governor Badaru keeping to his word and paying over N31 billion as and when due.The ALGON chair said what was particularly endearing to its selection committee was the fact that while billions of naira were going into capital expenditure in Jigawa, it remained one of very few states where all state and local government salaries including optional allowances, and all pension and gratuity liabilities were paid as and when due from the administrations inception to date, even though the state politely declined the salary bailout package offered by the federal government.The post ALGON honours BADARU ABUBAKAR appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.
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