A Public Accountability Group, Centre for Public Accountability CPA has queried the sincerity behind the recent controversial letter, by the suspended Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mr Wale Adedayo. Mr Adedayo has in the letter sent to a former Governor of the State, claimed that since the current set of Local government Executives got into office in 2021, it has been ZERO Federal Allocation to each local government. He also claimed, that 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 Governor Abiodun got into office.
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The Media, and the General Public, have recently been confronted with a perplexing and troubling allegation in a leaked letter to former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, by the suspended Chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mr Wale Adedayo.
Mr Adedayo, had in the letter, which is now in public domain, accused the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun of neglecting his duty by allegedly failing to remit the monthly allocations due to local government areas of the State, as and when due. While we take such allegations seriously, we, as a civic group, are compelled to investigate and question the veracity of these claims.
Before delving into our concerns and questions, it is imperative to provide context to this situation. The local government system in Nigeria is a crucial tier of government designed to bring governance closer to the grassroots. Local government areas are expected to receive a monthly allocation from the federation account, to facilitate the delivery of essential services to the local population, including education, healthcare, infrastructure development, and poverty alleviation programs.
Firstly, we must inquire into the transparency and accountability mechanisms that are in place to ensure the proper utilization of funds allocated to Local Governments in Ogun State.
Has Mr Wale Adedayo, as the Chairman of Ijebu East Local government, been transparent in managing the resources allocated to the local government, and can there be a full disclosure of how these funds have been utilized? It is on record, that between May 2023 when Governor Dapo Abiodun was sworn in for the second term in office, and July 2023, the Joint Account Allocation Committee JAAC shared among 20 Local Government councils in the State, the sum of N4.531 billion, N4.444 billion and N4.497 billion respectively on first line charges and just recently, N5.2 billion was shared among the councils for the month of August.
First-line charges, are funds meant to cater for local council staff salaries and pensions; primary school teachers’ salaries and pensions; healthcare workers’ salaries and pensions and emoluments for traditional rulers. It is also on record, that unlike many other states, the Ogun state government and local governments run different bank accounts. So, monies from the federation allocation account go straight into the local government account. And neither the governor nor the state Accountant General is a signatory to the account. What happened to funds allocated to Ijebu East local government, under Mr Wale Adedayo?
It is vital to establish whether there are financial records and audits that substantiate Mr Wale Adedayo’s claims of non-remittance. Has the suspended Chairman, in collaboration with relevant agencies in Ijebu East Local government, maintained proper financial records and accounts, and can these records confirm or refute the allegations?
While we acknowledge the effort of the Ogun State Government to provide a detailed response to these allegations, which we found as mischievous and uncharitable by Mr Adedayo, outlining the State’s financial commitment to local government areas in Ogun State. We urge the good citizen of Ogun State, to be mindful of the essence of the allegations, being leveled against the Ogun State Governor, from no other quarter, that the usual merchant of blackmail, in government.
If it is indeed true that allocations meant for local governments in Ogun state, have not been remitted, the question arises: How has the Chairman been running the local government affairs without these funds? What measures, if any, have been put in place to mitigate the adverse effects of a possible shortage of funds on service delivery in Ijebu East Local Government since his assumption of office?
As a civic group committed to transparency, accountability, and good governance, we advocate for a thorough investigation into the tenure of office of Mr Wale Adedayo as the Chairman of Ijebu East Local government. We call on the relevant government agencies, including the Ogun State House of Assembly, to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this matter.
It is essential to remember that the primary beneficiaries of good governance and effective local administration are the citizens.
Therefore, it is our duty, as civic-minded individuals and organizations, to ensure that these allegations are addressed promptly and transparently.
We implore the Ogun state government, to continue, to prioritize the welfare and well-being of the people above all else and to work further in promoting accountability, transparency, and effective service delivery.
Centre for Public Accountability, CPA