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Former Ogun state People’s Democratic Party governorship aspirant, Oladipupo Adebutu has accused the state governor, Dapo Abiodun of allegedly diverting N64 billion monthly allocation meant for the Local Government Councils in the state.
Adebutu claimed the N64 billion which was disbursed by the Federal Government in 21 months of Abiodun-led administration was allegedly taken over by the state government, while only salaries were paid to the LG councils.
He said this on Tuesday shortly after meeting with chairmanship, Vice-Chairmanship, and councillorship candidates of PDP in Abeokuta.
Adebutu, who is a former member of House of Representatives lamented that the 20 LG councils of the state are allegedly under lock and key by the state government as there is no single project to show for the allocation received.
He stressed, “What has resulted is an exhibition of crass truth that for the sake of appropriating fund belong to the third tier of government, 64 billion naira in 21 months belonging to the third tier of government essentially ended up with the state government.
“According to the Bureau of Statistics, 64 billion naira was disbursed nearly, only for the third tier of government to get salary and we have nothing to show for it.
“All the 20 LG in Ogun state were virtually under lock and key, no project you could see upon that in 21 months, Ogun state suffered.”, he lamented.
The PDP chieftain further attributed the alleged misappropriation of the LG allocation as factor responsible for an alleged irregularities in the just concluded council election held in the state.
He also alleged that the Abiodun APC-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 was practicable of creating viable opposition, and deliberately they created a situation whereby PDP was excluded from that competition.
“But, the good thing about it is 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 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 20 Chairmen of all the 20 local government areas of the state, the journalists, people 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.”