Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said that the 34 Local Government Councils in the state are owing local contractors N20 billion.
Masari stated this in Zango during a town hall meeting with people from Baure/Zango Federal Constituency.
‘’We have set up a committee for the verification of liabilities of the local councils, where we obtained the amount. It is pathetic to note that most of those owed were local contractors.
‘’However, the councils have no funds to settle the debts due to the decrease in their allocations from the Federal Account,’’ he said.
The governor pointed out that in February, the 34 local councils received only N3 billion from the Federation Account.
He said more than 1.7 billion was paid as staff salaries, while N1.3 billion was paid as salaries for the Local Education Authorities (LEA) staff.
Masari explained that the state government had to support them with N600 million to enable them settle some of their responsibilities.
He lamented that the councils were not serious on the generation of revenue in their respective areas.
‘’It is unfortunate that some revenue staff had form the habit of diverting the little revenue they collect.
‘’It has come to our notice that traditional leaders were also involved in diverting the local councils revenues,’’ he said.
The governor said that the town hall meeting was aimed at allowing people to express their views and give suggestions on how to move the state forward.
Masari also said that government would also use the medium to inform people on the financial condition of the state.