Ogun, NNPC To Reconstruct Ogijo-Sagamu Road — Abiodun

Gov. Abiodun Denies Tampering With LG Funds

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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State says his administration has frequently had to supplement funds allocated to Local Governments (LG) in the State from the Federation Account in order for them to meet their obligations.

Information Nigeria reports that Abiodun’s disclosure is in response to allegations made by Wale Adedayo, the Chairman of Ijebu East LG, that the State has allocated zero revenue to Local Governments since 2021.

Adedayo had lamented the inability of LG chairmen to carry out projects in the last two years and urged Chief Olusegun Osoba, former governor of the state, to intervene immediately and persuade Abiodun that “the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State should be allowed to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution.”

The Council boss, elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), like his principal, however wrote to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) requesting that the Governor be investigated for alleged diversion of local government funds.

According to Adedayo, in the last two years, Abiodun has not paid a dime to local government accounts as a result of federal allocation.

In separate petitions to the EFCC and the ICPC on Tuesday, he requested the anti-graft agencies’ immediate intervention.

However, the Governor, via a statement issued by Lekan Adeniran, his Chief Press Secretary, stated that he had never tampered with local government funds.

Wondering how adding to the funds allocated to local councils to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds, Abiodun said funds earmarked for State LG’s are managed by the constitutionally mandated Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC).

He said JAAC members ensure that the third tier of government receives the necessary allocations for optimal performance.

His words: “The latest meeting by the JAAC was held last week, and was widely reported in the media.

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“At the meeting, which was held at the Conference Hall, Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, over N5bn was shared among the 20 local government areas, out of which over N2 billion went into paying teachers.

“Between May 2023 when the Governor was sworn in for the second term and July 2023, the JAAC shared among 20 local governments N4.531b, N4.444b and N4.497b respectively on first line charges and just last week N5.2b was shared among the local governments for the month of August.”

“First-line charges, including local council staff salaries and pensions; primary school teachers’ salaries and pensions; healthcare workers’ salaries and pensions and emoluments for traditional rulers are tabled for discussion and fund allocation at the JAAC meetings”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladipupo Adebutu, urged the Ogun State House of Assembly to begin the impeachment process of Abiodun over alleged withholding of local government funds from the federal allocation if found guilty.

Adebutu, who spoke through his media aide, Afolabi Orekoya, said the Governor had contravened a section of the Constitution as regards the diversion of funds allocated to council areas and must be punished for the act.

He said, “The local government chairman has also written a letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and we believe that the Speaker will not sweep the letter under the carpet because he is one of the team members of the governor.

“This is purely an impeachable offence; if this is found to be true, it is an impeachable offence, and we are really watching the House of Assembly members to see how they are going to follow this through and to see their action and steps they will take when this letter is brought to the floor of the House.

“Thank God we are not having the usual rubber stamp House of Assembly in Ogun State now. We have very responsible, very committed members of the PDP who are also in the House of Assembly now, and I’m sure from what we have heard from our members this morning, they are already taking steps to ensure that the Rule of Law is being followed on this matter.

“We believe that he will bring the letter out and read it on the floor of the House, and we believe the members of the House will do the needful.”

 


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