BY KHALID IDRIS DOYA, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government under the leadership of Governor Bala Mohammed has ranked 3rd position in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Accountability and Transparency Index for the 2021 assessment year.
According to press release issued by special adviser on media and publicity to the Bauchi state governor, Mukhtar Gidado and made available to journalists in Bauchi said the governor Bala Mohammed received the award from the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Mallam Tijjani Musa during a public presentation and Award on Monday at the Council Chambers of the Institute in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Speaking during the award presentation, Mallam Tijjani Musa commended Governor Bala Mohammed and his team of professional Accountants for their outstanding commitment, extraordinary performance and high sense of accountability and transparency which they brought to bear in administering the public finances of Bauchi State.
Governor Bala Mohammed alongside four other Governors were nominated in appreciation of their dogged performance during the period under review towards the progress and financial development of their respective states.
According to the statement, “The administration of Governor Bala Mohammed has during the period of assessment introduced various public service reforms to improve fiscal discipline in public procurement, debt management and implementation of the fiscal responsibility law to specifically and most importantly eliminate, block leakages and waste in the implementation of capital budget.”
Also, other indicators used in measuring the Bala Mohammed’s administration is the newly introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA) tax administration which assisted in drastically eliminating multiple taxation and shoring of additional sources of revenue in the State. Additionally, the phenomenal growth in IGR, the transparency in reporting collectible revenue and its application in solving the problems of the state represent again, another major reason.
“Furthermore, regular payment of counterpart funds, one of the hallmarks of the Bala Mohammed’s administration, has earned the State regular inclusion in the programs of the Federal Government and several development partners, as the financial partners have developed greater confidence in the State’s ability to meet its obligations.”
“Similarly, with the support of a team of committed technocrats, politicians, patriotic stakeholders, key traditional rulers, the administration has created a new narrative in service delivery in the State.
“These people oriented development programs are spread across the State, in terms of infrastructure and human development in the areas of roads construction, rehabilitation of critical urban and rural roads, health, education, agriculture, massive housing projects, Water supply as well as youth and women empowerment.”
These variables, according to ICAN, stimulate sustained economic growth, enhance accountability, transparency, ease of doing business and reduce corrupt practices which ensured fiscal discipline in the public service of Bauchi State.
Governor Bala Mohammed was represented at the event by the State Accountant General Dr Sa’idu Abubakar, accompanied by Comrade Mukhtar Gidado, Special Adviser Media to the Governor.
Speaking after receiving the award on behalf of the Governor, Dr Sa’idu Abubakar applauded the governing board of ICAN for the recognition and honour done to the entire people of Bauchi.
He said Bauchi State is indeed deeply elated to rank 3rd on the ICAN -AI Assessment of 2021 and described it as a huge leapfrog from the rank of 20th in the 2020 report, which was evidence that the State is doing the right thing that strives to surpass the previous performance.
He also assured ICAN that the Award will further ginger the Governor to do more in ensuring accountability and transparency in governance as the Bauchi State Government has proposed commitment to ICAN’s Students Special Project.