A Local Government Chairman in Ogun State is seeking the intervention of former Governor Olusegun Osoba to prevent the state government from the habit of hijacking the funds meant for councils administration.
In a letter to the former Governor, the Chairman, Ijebu East Local Government, Mr Wale Adedayo claimed that the twenty local government councils in the state had been incapacitated by the lack of funding as the state government had continued to deprive them of all statutory allocations from the Federal Government and other sources.
Mr Adedayo explained that the former Governor’s intervention was necessary to convince the incumbent State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, that the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in the state should be allowed to reach to the councils in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
He alleged that apart from the statutory federal allocations and ecological funding among others, another 10.8 billion naira allocated to the twenty council areas under the SURE – P scheme of the previous administration in country was hijacked by Governor Abiodun.
The Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area also accused the state government of taking over the control of revenue sources like the dues from motor parks as well as the administration and control of primary schools maintaining that the situation had caused the council chairmen to do little or nothing for the people at the grassroots.
He said that the state government had continued to withhold the council funds under the guise of deducting some loans which they claimed were being repaid into the coffers of the state government.
Efforts made by Radio Nigeria to get the reactions of the state government were unsuccessful as the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi is yet to respond to inquiries.
Read the full letter below.
Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba,
This letter should have been written about two years ago. But I was wary of what many naive people would say about me. Besides, at your age and given the level of your selfless contributions to the development of our state, and Nigeria in general, we expect you to be taking a well deserved rest at this time. But agba kii wa ni oja, ki ori omo titun wo (we expect the elderly to intervene in correcting wrongs that everyone appears to have overlooked). Ti o ba se bii owe, e fi ori ji mi sir!!!
Your urgent intervention is sorely needed to convince the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, that the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State should be allowed to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution. Since we (Ogun State Local Government Chairmen) got on board in 2021, it has been ZERO Federal Allocation to each local government. The 10% of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which the Constitution also stipulated should go to the local governments has not been given since Abiodun got into office.
Now, the negative consequences of Zero Federal Allocations to Local Government Councils in Ogun State should be clear for all to see. We should not not have lost the last elections in all the places we did during the Governorship and House of Assembly polls IF our local governments were being funded as provided for in the 1999 Constitution. I am not proud to say that we (Local Government Chairmen) have done very little or NOTHING since we were sworn in because the funds to work are being withheld by Mr. Governor.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari assisted the states and Local Governments with what we call palliatives today. They called it, SURE-P. The first sent to the 20 local governments in Ogun State was N2.5 billion. The second one was, N2.6 billion. The third was, N2.8 billion, while the fourth shortly before Buhari left office was N2.9 billion. Not a dime of these funds was released to ANY local government in Ogun State. The Ogun State Executive Committee of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) had a meeting with the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, early this year. The Commissioner claimed that the 20 local governments were owing the Ogun State Government N17 billion, which they continue to deduct. But I know for a fact that my Ijebu East Local Government is NOT owing Abeokuta one Naira!
We’ve also heard about Ecological funds and others. These have developed wings too without trace. It is certain that the current one being packaged by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu may likely follow the same course. And, we are the ones the people will abuse. I am the butt of jokes in my local government right now, with many saying one isincompetent.
Truly, denying local governments their due Federal Allocations in Ogun State began during the Administration of former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And, as it is happening today, it was based on a spurious claim of helping some local governments, who may not be able to fulfill their obligations to the people because of financial challenges. Thus, all the funds are regularly collected into a central purse from where salaries and other dues are paid. Whatever that is left is often claimed by the State Government as debts being paid by the local governments.
Revenue sources, which the local governments should benefit from have mostly been taken over by the State Government. Motor Parks and attendant dues which should go to each local government are being centrally managed by the State Government. Primary school administration and control have been taken over too. There are many others. But, what I crave is for you to assist in helping our people.
In Ijebu East Local Government Area, we a complete rural section. Our people need roads, especially in the interior. They need water. The Health Centres are nothing to write home about. The primary schools are something else. It is a crying shame that, in 2023 some of our people still depend on water from the stream to drink! Great Awo provided pipe borne water almost 60 years ago!
Thanks in appreciation of a quick response.
Hon. Wale Adedayo,
Chairman, Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State