Burnt Assembly: Kogi refutes media reports on sale of assets

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… as Yahaya Bello bags presidential award on security

Uba Group

BY MAYOWA SAMUEL

The Kogi State Government has debunked, in strong terms, media reports that it is considering selling some state assets to finance the reconstruction of the State House of Assembly Complex razed down by fire on October 10, 2022.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja, on Friday, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, said the statement credited to the State Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Idris Asiru, to the effect that the State Government wants to sell some Government properties to raise funds to rebuild the complex was “a deliberate misrepresentation”.

Fanwo made the pronouncement just as President Muhammadu Buhari honoured Governor Yahaya Bello with a distinguished award for security management across the states at the Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service, on Friday, in Abuja.

Since assumption of office on January 27, 2016, Governor Bello has been widely commended for his onslaught against crimes and criminality in Kogi, which has made the state the safest in the North and one of the safest in the country today.

He said, “The media space has been awash with stories that our Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning said the State Government was considering selling some assets to rebuild the burnt Assembly Complex. This is an unfortunate misrepresentation of what the Commissioner said at the event.

“The Commissioner said if there was a need to sell other Government properties to rebuild the Assembly, Government would gladly do that. It was a statement to underscore the importance our Administration attaches to the legislative arm of Government in the state. Twisting that to mean the Government is planning to sell the assets of the state to rebuild the complex is a sentimental knife in the heart of our transparency and accountability as an administration.

“No Government official said anything like what the media quoted the Commissioner to have said. It didn’t come from the Government or any official of Government. What was alleged to have been said is not the position of the State Government on the matter.”

Fanwo said it was a general practice for government to sell non-performing assets, insisting that Governor Yahaya Bello would not rely on  “revenues from state assets to rebuild the State Assembly Complex”.

“The media is a respected Institution and our progress partners in the New Direction Government. We will continue to harp on the need for the media to always act in tandem with the ethics of the profession,” he said.