By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Thursday in Abuja dismissed the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) listing Kogi as the most corrupt state in the country.
Bello made his position known after a closed door meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor, who believed that the report of the NBS was quoted out of context, said the anti-corruption measures being implemented by the state government had started yielding results.
According to him, the state government has successfully increased its internally generated revenue from N300million to N1billion monthly.
He said: “You see, you have to look and read the details of that report before you can judge. You see, we shouldn’t just listen to somebody and quote him out of context.
“Like I said, in Kogi State before now, civil servants before you become a permanent secretary you must pay through your nose but this time around it has been merit based.
“Before you become local government chairman, or let’s take it from the political aspect, I am the leader of APC in Kogi State, no single person that obtained a form or become whatever will claim or is claiming to have paid one dime to any political leader.
“It is out of blocking the loopholes and leakages that we have been able to raise the revenue of Kogi State from pittance of N300 million to over N1 billion on monthly basis.
”If you look at the percentage then you can be the judge. So if anybody is saying Kogi state is the most corrupt state, then that person must have his facts wrong.
“Kogi state is the most prized state in the country and it is out of fighting corruption as well because the little resources we have we are so managing it that we are developing the state and fighting insecurity.
“If corruption is that prevalent then that wouldn’t have happened.”
On reconciling all aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, the governor said the reconciliation efforts had contributed to the recent electoral victory of the party in the state.
“Kogi State as you know was slightly divided before now but upon assumption of office and until the last general elections, I have been making every effort to ensure that there is reconciliation and bringing everybody on board.
“That was what resulted in the massive victory of the last general election. Leaders and stakeholders of the state have been called upon to join in the new direction administration, so we are moving on perfectly.”
According to him, his administration in the second term will focus on human capital and infrastructure development.