The Adamawa State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Ibrahim Gorko, has accused members of the state House of Assembly for defaulting to pay for the 128 shops allocated to them at the Jimeta Modern Market since 2009.
The commissioner disclosed this at the assembly’s plenary on Monday while he was interrogated by the lawmakers on the running and revenue generated from the market. Gorko was among the four commissioners under Governor Murtala Nyako’s administration summoned by the state assembly to appear before it to explain some financial misnomers in their various ministries.
The commissioner explained that the market known as “Jimeta Modern Market,” has 3,894 shops out of which 2,060 were allocated to the 21 local government areas in the state while 1,000 were allocated to traders and the remaining were given as “special allocation” to civil servants, political appointees and the lawmakers.
Gorko explained that members of the state assembly were given 128 shops out of the special allocation but many of the lawmakers were yet to pay for the shops allocated to them since 2009.
He said while the 21 local governments had paid for the 2,060 shops allocated to them upfront, most of the traders and those who benefitted from the special allocation including the lawmakers were yet to pay for their allocations.
He said the shops cost between one million and N800,000 depending on the type, adding that all the efforts made by the ministry in setting up a committee to recover the outstanding money from beneficiaries had been facd a lot of resistance from a cartel in the market and some politicians.
He said the ministry was contemplating taking drastic measures such as revoking the allocation of defaulters but were advised to exercise more patience and issue warnings them and that if they couldn’t comply, the ministry should go ahead with its plans.
Commenting after the commissioner’s statement, a lawmaker, Mr. Jibrin Yelwa, representing Ganye constituency, asked Gorko to make public the lists of lawmakers that benefitted and those who defaulted in the payment.
However, the Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Ahmad Finiri, admitted that one of the members of the assembly benefited from the allocation and that he had paid half of the money but was yet to complete the payment.
He told the commissioner to forward names of the members who benefitted but were yet to complete payment, adding that he would use his position to make them to pay, as according to him, there were members who benefitted but were not in the present assembly.
He promised that they would be duly communicated.