The Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area in Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, has leveled allegations against Governor Dapo Abiodun, asserting the diversion of federal allocations destined for the state’s local governments during the past two years.
In a letter addressed to former Governor Olusegun Osoba, on August 27, 2023, Adedayo claimed that an amount exceeding N10.8 billion from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme was also rerouted by the governor.
Adedayo lamented that the governor had allegedly withheld the constitutionally mandated 10 percent of the state’s internally generated revenue that is designated for the local government sector since Abiodun’s assumption of office.
Attributing the reported fund misdirection as a contributing factor to the loss of certain councils in the previous general election by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adedayo urged Osoba to use his influence to encourage Governor Abiodun to ensure that the federal allocations, stipulated by law, reach each local council.
Adedayo noted that this financial deviation practice, which hindered the local governments’ rightful entitlements, commenced during the tenure of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
He articulated in the letter, “”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.
“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, there has been zero federal allocation to each local government. The 10 percent of the state’s internally generated revenue, which the Constitution also stipulated should go to the local government, has not been given since Abiodun got into office.”
Addressing the consequences of these purportedly withheld allocations, Adedayo highlighted their detrimental effects, particularly in the recent elections, asserting that proper funding would have potentially altered the electoral outcome.
“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 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, 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 will 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 I am incompetent.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)