Governor Abiodun debunks allegation of zero revenue allocation to local government

The Ogun State Government has debunked allegation of starving the local government areas, explaining that it had never tampered with council funds, rather it has often had to augment the funds allocated to local governments in the state from the Federation Account to enable them to meet their obligations.

Penpushing reports that the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Lekan Adeniran in a statement on Tuesday, faulted a letter credited to the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Mr Wale Adedayo, alleging zero revenue allocation to local governments in the state since 2021

The statement said it had never tampered with local government funds, and wondered how adding to the funds allocated to the local councils to enable them to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds.

Penpushing further reports that the statement  pointed out that funds meant for local governments in the state are being handled by the constitutionally recognised Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC),stressing that  the government said that Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) members ensure that the third tier of government gets the required allocations for optimal performance.

The statement empahsised and noted that the latest meeting by the Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC), was held last week, and was widely reported in the media, adding that at the meeting, which was held at the Conference Hall, Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, over N5billion was shared among the 20 local government areas, out of which over N2 billion went into paying teachers.

‘Between May 2023 when the Governor was sworn in for the second term and July 2023, the JAAC shared among 20 local governments N4.531b, N4.444b and N4.497b respectively on first line charges and just last week N5.2b was shared among the local governments for the month of August “the statement said.

Penpushing also reports that the statement explained that Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC), comprises major stakeholders in local government administration, including the Chief Economic Adviser to the governor, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Accountant General of the State, Permanent Secretary, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The statement said other include all 20 local government chairmen, one representative from each of the four Traditional Councils in the state, representative of  State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), National Union of Local Government Employees(NULGE), local govt pensioners, retired primary school teachers, Local Government Service Commission, Local Government Pension Commission and Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT).

Penpushing reports that the Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) has the mandate to meet every month to ensure that allocations to local governments are discussed and properly presented for fund allocation.

The statement explained that at such meetings, the state government makes full disclosure of the receipt from the federation account, adding that first-line charges, including local government staff salaries and pensions; primary school teachers’ salaries and pensions; healthcare workers’ salaries and pensions and emoluments for traditional rulers are tabled for discussion and fund allocation at the Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) meetings.

Penpushing further reports that the statement added that this same pattern has been followed since Dapo Abiodun took over the leadership of the state in 2019, noting that he(Governor) recently directed the local governments to identify critical roads that required government attention in their domains, with some already commissioned.

The statement added that in the same vein, many schools have been rehabilitated, while others are undergoing renovation, stressing that in addition to these, the state government also disburse funds to all local governments for developmental projects periodically

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