To ensure accountability and transparency in the public account of Oyo State, the state’s House of Assembly has investigated the finances of local government councils in the state.
As a result, Directors of Finance, Heads of Local Government Administration (HLAs) and Executive Chairmen in the thirty-three local government areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Oyo State appeared before the House Committee on Public Account, Finance and Appropriations for scrutiny.
The exercise, according to the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Akeem Mustapha, followed the 2021 reports submitted to the House by the Oyo State Auditor General, which indicted some local governments in the state of misappropriation of funds.
Speaking with newsarena.ng, Hon. Mustapha said that after thorough deliberation and consideration of the Auditor General’s report on the floor of the House, there was the need for the committee to invite all the 33 local councils and LCDAs in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The lawmaker assured that whoever found culpable of misappropriating the state’s funds after the exercise, would return such monies back to the coffers.
He, however, harped on the need for local governments and other state’s administrative and finance departments to give priority to proper record and account keeping.
“What we noticed is that our people are not keeping proper records and in accounting or any organization, keeping record is very essential, once the records are straight, there won’t be any loss of funds” He said
Hon. Mustapha, therefore, explained that upon the completion of the exercise, the Committee will give it’s recommendations to the House and the Assembly will pass it’s resolutions to the executive.
Reacting to insinuations that the Oyo State government has not been properly funding the local government administration, the Chairman House Committee on Local Government, State Honours and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Akintunde Olajide, said that the present administration at its inception cleared backlog of salary debts of some council areas.
He, however, said that despite the economic crunch in country and the world at large, Oyo State government has been releasing the monthly running cost and other allocations for the effective running of the local government administration.