Government functionaries defend Governor Abiodun over alleged diversion of local government funds

The top functionaries of Ogun State Government have come in defence of Governor Dapo Abiodun over allegation of local government fun diversion, explaining that state government does not manage the accounts of the local government councils or get involved in how funds are spent.

Penpushing reports that the Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner-Designate, Oladapo Okubadejo accompanied by some other top officials made the clarification at a press conference held at Olusegun Osoba Press Centre, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

The Commissioner-Designate explained that monthly allocations from the Federation Account were never enough to pay the first-line charges of the councils, which he noted to include the salaries of primary school teachers and local government staff, pensions and gratuities.

Penpushing further reports that Okubadejo disclosed that in genuine efforts for the positive survival and performance of the local governments, the state had been rendering additional funds to make up for the shortfalls.

The Special Adviser emphasized that the Governor Dapo Abiodun led administration does not manage the accounts of the local government councils or get involved in how funds are spent,adding that  the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) is managed by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

‘The Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) account is a completely separate account from the state government accounting process. It is managed and administrated by a completely different set of staff that are involved in local government administration, that is, the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs’, he said.

‘The account and the signatories are separate from the State government accounts, which automatically means that it is already independently managed. The Accountant General and the Director of Treasury are not signatories to the JAAC account; they are managed under the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. This JAAC allocation that comes every month is, in many instances, not even sufficient to cover these first-line charges’, Okubadejo added.

Penpushing also reports that in attendance include the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi; Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Toyin Taiwo; State Accountant General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Tunde Aregbesola, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Lekan Adeniran, and Consultant to the Governor on Media, Kayode Akinmade.

The Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Wale Adedayo, it is recalled had on Tuesday alleged the Governor of diverting the local government funds, and forwarded a petition to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Penpushing further reports that, in another development, Adedayo’s colleagues from other local government areas have distanced themselves from the allegation, and passionately apologized to the Governor on what they described as misinformation

The Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in similar vein said the allegation against the Governor of fund diversion was untrue, adding that every fund approved by the committee consisting of stakeholders passed through the various Local Government Council Accounts.

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