The Ogun State Government on Tuesday faulted claims that the Dapo Abiodun-led administration diverted allocations accrued to local government areas in the state.
The NewsAfrica had earlier reported that the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, accused the governor of diverting the statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years.
Adedayo, in a letter written to former Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, on Sunday, and obtained by our correspondent, alleged that over N10.8bn fund of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme was also diverted by the governor.
The LG boss claimed that the 10 per cent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which the constitution also stipulates should go to the local government had not been given since Abiodun got into office.
But debunking the claims in a statement on Tuesday, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, said contrary to reports, the Abiodun administration had often augmented the funds allocated to local governments in the state from the federation account to enable them to meet their obligations.
According to him, the Abiodun government never tampered with local government funds.
He clarified that it was surprising how adding to the funds allocated to the local councils to enable them to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds.
According to him, funds meant for local governments in the state are being handled by the constitutionally recognised Joint Account and Allocation Committee.
“Between May 2023, when the governor was sworn in for the second term and July 2023, the JAAC shared among 20 local governments N4.531bn, N4.444bn and N4.497bn respectively on first line charges and just last week N5.2bn was shared among the local governments for the month of August,” the statement said.
The JAAC, according to the statement, comprises major stakeholders in local government administration, including the Chief Economic Adviser to the governor, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Accountant General of the State, Permanent Secretary, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, all 20 local government chairmen, one representative from each of the four Traditional Councils in the state, representative of SUBEB, NULGE, local govt pensioners, retired primary school teachers, Local Government Service Commission, Local Government Pension Commission and NUT.
“It has the mandate to meet every month to ensure that allocations to local governments are discussed and properly presented for fund allocation. At such meetings, the state government makes full disclosure of the receipt from the federation account.
“First-line charges, including local government 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.
The governor’s spokesperson added that the same pattern has been followed since Abiodun took over the leadership of the state in 2019.
He added that Abiodun recently directed the local governments to identify critical roads that required government attention in their domains, with some already inaugurated.
“In the same vein, many schools have been rehabilitated, while others are undergoing renovation.
“In addition to these, the state government also disburse funds to all local governments for developmental projects periodically,” the statement added.