KADUNA State government has explained that the need to be transparent and be able to track financial dealings in government quarters in the state informed the administration’s decision to collapse the over 400 government bank accounts it met into one.
Speaking on Thursday, at the presentation of Sam Omotseye’s new book, ‘A Chronicle Foretold’, the state governor, Alhaji Nasir el-Rufai, expressed dismay that some of the accounts, including domiciliary ones, were existing without the knowledge of the state government.
He argued that further that it was the state that started the the Single Treasury Account, because it was apparent that a lot of underhand dealings were going on in the state’s public sector and it had become imperative to block these wastages.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Barnabas Bala Bantex, stated since the introduction of a single account, which now domiciles with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the state government had been able to plug a huge waste pipe in the public sector.
He explained that the state government also went further to reduce the size of the public service, by cutting down on the number of ministries it met on assumption of office to 14, in tune with the economic realities of the time and making governance in the state cost-effective.
While commending the author for warning the nation of the present hard economic times, which he argued was induced by past mismanagements, the governor queried why Nigerians had to wait for the nation to experience economic downturns before embarking on reforms.
In his remarks, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, commended the author for warning Nigerians of the impending economic boom.
The former Lagos State governor added that the book, which is a chronicle of the author’s critical comments and assessments of the administration, which unfortunately, he stated, Nigerians never took seriously.
He expressed the hope that Nigerians would learn from the mistakes of the past to enable them deliver a more virile nation.