From ‘Yanju Uwala
The local government executives in Ogun State are lamenting the non-payment of the statutory allocation, meant for running the third tier of government months after the inauguration.
The Nigerian constitution creates three tiers of government with the local government being the closest to the grassroots and having an autonomy to run it’s activities independently.
This is however not the case as the Ogun state government led by Gov. Dapo Abiodun has refused to release the statutory allocation to the local governments in disregard of the constitution rendering the LGs comatose.
Speaking with the media, on condition of anonymity, an official of one of the Local Government area maintained that the local government cannot do anything yet as it’s allocation has not been received.
He added that “make your findings from other Local Government, it’s the same. None of us has received any allocation since inauguration. We have only been doing skeletal works here”.
Another official of one of the local governments maintained that the local government chairmen have been stretched, as no fund was made available to effect the desired development promised the citizens during electioneering.
“This is the same thing that happened during the Sen. Ibikunle Amosun tenure where he rendered the Local Government useless. We thought we would see a difference but it seems this is the way Governors wants to continue to ruin the activities of the local authorities.
“We should not be begging for what is statutorily our rights, if not I would have said the governor should please do the needful, knowing that we have just three years to make sure all our promises are fulfilled”, he stated.
The Ogun State government, had refuted claims that it tampered with the local government allocations, adding that about N9,904,945,970.80 was released by the State Government to argument the councils’ capital expenditure and effective running of the councils.
According to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Afolabi Afuape a total of N73,618,140,323.02 has been paid to all 20 Local Government Councils as statutory payment within the last 21 months.
The commissioner explained further that the State government has been augmenting the local government accounts to enable them pay the first line charges, which included primary school teachers’ salaries, local government staff salaries and allowances, primary school teachers, and local governments’ staff pension, not leaving out administrative sundry expenses for chairmen, traditional councils, statutory payment of local government service commission and unions’ check-off dues from May 2021 –July 2021.
He said statutory allocation received from the Federation Account for August stood at N3,433,170,398.83 and the first line charges deduction has a total of N4,055,100,639.78, showing a deficit of N621,930,240.90, while the deficit breakdown stood at N626,218,967.27 and the surplus of Allocation received over net salary stood at N4,288,726.32.
Explaining further, Hon. Afuape said “while at the end, the allocation distribution to all 20 local government councils stands at a gross deficit of N N621,930,240.90.