Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello on Sunday reassured the people of the state that his administration will cater for all residents irrespective of political and socio-cultural affiliation.
Governor Sani Bello stated this in Kontagora at the weekend while meeting with various stakeholders from the area in continuation of his efforts to carry the people along and get public input in governance.
In his remark, Bello said: “I recognise that I contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress and promised to abide by its constitution and manifesto. I am 100 percent loyal APC member, but I swore to an oath to abide by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Nigerian Constitution is supreme; it is above the constitution of APC or any other political party. Political parties come and go, but Nigerian Constitution remain. I am not a governor for just APC members but all citizens of the state.”
This, he explained, informed the spread of developmental projects and programmes so far undertaken or being executed.
The Governor explained to the stakeholders the current financial difficulties Niger State was going through and called on them to support government policies and programmes geared toward repositioning the state.
“Nigeria in general and Niger state in particular is facing serious economic challenges as a result of fall in oil price at international market and security challenges in the Niger Delta.
“Niger state like many other states of Nigeria depends on federal allocation, which has reduced drastically since the beginning of this administration.
“In the past 16 years under the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in the state, Niger state was getting monthly FAAC Allocation not less than N5 billion. In some months, the state got N7 billion from the federation account.
“But since the inception of APC administration in the state, the highest federation allocation it got was N2.5 billion. And the state wage bill for salaries is about N2.4 billion. In fact, the state has so far taken over N3 billion overdraft to augment salary since January this year.”
Sani Bellon, who promised to continue to relate with various stakeholders in the state, emphasised that “this period call for sacrifice”.
“These challenges call for sacrifice from all of us. Already, this administration has reduced spending in Government House from over N150 million weekly to N20 million.
“A stakeholder meeting was held recently to explain the current situation to the people and also to explain ongoing discussion with labour in the state. As a government we are committed to the mandate given to us by over 4million Nigerlites.
“This obligation include, but not limited to payment of salary. We have to provide basic amenities in line with the cardinal priority of the administration.
“Despite this challenges, there are 52 on going projects in various part of the state. This include both urban and rural roads, hospitals and schools,” Sani Bello added.