Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Government has debunked the allegation that it received N63,938,887,374.47 billion in the last 21 months as federal allocations belonging to the councils without any meaningful thing to show for it.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Afolabi Afuape discredited the figure during the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting for August 2021, held in his Oke-Mosan Office, Abeokuta.
Giving the actual figure due to the councils as N63,713,194,358.26, Hon. Afuape disclosed that additional sum of N9,904,945,970.80, was released by the State Government to argument the councils’ capital expenditure and effective running of the councils.
According to him, a total of N73,618,140,323.02 has been paid to all 20 Local Governmentovernment Councils as statutory payment within 21 months.
The commissioner explained further that the State government has been augmenting the local government accounts to able them pay the first line charges, which included primary school teachers’ salaries, local government staff salaries and allowances, primary school teachers, and local governments’ staff pension, not leaving out administrative sundry expenses for chairmen, traditional councils, statutory payment of local government service commission and unions’ check-off dues from May 2021 –July 2021.
He said statutory allocation received from the Federation Account for August stood at N3,433,170,398.83 and the first line charges deduction has a total of N4,055,100,639.78, showing a deficit of N621,930,240.90, while the deficit breakdown stood at N626,218,967.27 and the surplus of Allocation received over net salary stood at N4,288,726.32.
Explaining further, Hon. Afuape said “while at the end, the allocation distribution to all 20 local government councils stands at a gross deficit of N N621,930,240.90. The State government has been augmenting local government expenditures and on two occasions, gave the immediate passed Transition Chairmen grants to implement various need-based projects across the 20 local governments with over 140 projects within 18 months they spent in office.”
The Commissioner noted that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led Administration would be the first in history to implement 236 projects across the political wards of the State, cautioning political parties that are disposed to critiquing the present administration to do so with facts and figures, to avoid giving wrong signals to the people of the State.
“This administration has never been indebted to the local government workers since inception and it had promised to turn the fortune of councils around by making them more responsive to the people at the grassroots,” the Commissioner reaffirmed.