PDP says Gov Abiodun must account for N64bn LG funds - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

PDP says Gov Abiodun must account for N64bn LG funds

Former governorship aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Hon Oladipupo Adebutu has said that given the absence of noticeable developmental projects across the 20 local governments in the state, Gov Dapo Abiodun must come out to explain how N64bn that has accrued to the Local Government Councils in the last 21 months was spent.

Hon Ladipupo Adebutu who is from same Iperu township as Gov Abiodun said that aside payment of salaries, there is no developmental efforts on ground to justify the documents from the Bureau of Statistics that a whopping sum of federal allocation amounting N64bn had been disbursed to local government in the state in the last 21 months.

The former federal lawmaker who represented Remo federal constituency between 2015 and 2019 said this on Tuesday shortly after meeting with Chairmanship, Vice-Chairmanship, and councillorship candidates of the party who opted out of July 24 local government elections in the state.

Adebutu disclosed further that just because the present administration did not want the local government to breath in such a way that the rural dwellers can begin to enjoy good dividends of democracy, it went ahead to orchestrate a non existent division in the opposition party ahead of the just concluded local government elections.

He said having been rest assured that the state government was hell-bent on interfering with the local government elections process and was rather preparing for selection than election, his party had no choice than to opt out of the sham and mockery of democracy called local government elections held about two weeks ago in the state

Adebutu however warned of dire consequences of not allowing the true wishes of the people to reflect in the election of those who they want to govern them at the grassroots saying that all the agitations in the country are rooted in grave injustice such as the one Ogun State threw up during the last local government elections.

He said "according to the Bureau of Statistics, 64 billion naira was disbursed and only for the third tier of government to get salaries and we have nothing to show for it.

All the 20 LG in Ogun state are virtually under lock and key, no project you could see upon that in 21 months, Ogun state suffered".

The PDP chieftain further attributed the alleged misappropriation of the LG allocation as factor responsible for the alleged irregularities in the just concluded council election held in the state.

He also alleged that Gov Abiodun led government deliberately orchestrated a process that will not be free and fair so as to have total control of the LG councils in the state.

Adebutu further alleged the State Electoral Body of creating crisis in PDP which would have been a viable opposition in the LG poll.

He noted, “PDP as a party is capable of creating viable opposition, and deliberately they created a situation whereby PDP was excluded from that competition.
“But, the good thing about it was that the deciding electorates in the state refused to participate in the sham and we have a selection process rather than election process.

“For the sake of the nation, there have to be credible elections for people to vent their aspiration. When people cannot vent their aspiration, when people cannot seek government that reflect in their genuine needs, they will seek power by other means and the devil finds work for idle hands.”

Reacting to the allegation, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape described Adebutu’s claim as figment of his imagination.

He explained that the state have been having Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) meetings which is statutory and required by the law.

Afuape who claimed the JAAC was never held for 6 years under the immediate past  administration of Sen Ibikunle Amosun noted that it is at the JAAC meeting that local governments’ funds are accessed and shared.

He added, “We have been having JAAC with all the Chairmen of all the 20 local government areas of the state, the journalists, members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Local Government Service Commission, Councils of Chiefs, Teachers, Pensioners, among others where local governments’ funds are always accessed and shared.

“For us to share any money, we have some amount of money that we call the first line charge, which is the money we use to pay teachers’ salaries, pensions, traditional councils of chiefs, among other expenses, that are very crucial to good governance.

“We then release the remaining funds for the local governments. I can tell you that the 20 local governments require about N150 million on monthly basis to remit to the State government as Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) but we couldn’t deduct it because the money coming from Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) is not always enough.

“In fact, Ogun state government augmented local governments’ funds with N2 billion between the months of January and May, 2021 in order for them to meet up financial obligations.

“I don’t know why Hon Ladi Adebutu and PDP will whip up unnecessary sentiments on that. I challenge him and his party – PDP to come on air with me, I am ready with them. Ogun state government will come up with facts and figures about how local governments’ funded are being collected and managed.

“Meanwhile, Ogun state government will also publish very soon, the comprehensive financial reports of 20 local governments domiciled in Ogun state in the national dailies.”



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