Okowa, Akeredolu deny diverting council funds
• 13 % Oil Derivation, SURE-P Refunds Judiciously Expended — Ondo Governor
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent allegations that some state governors are diverting funds meant for local councils for personal use, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, expressed disappointment that such statement could come from the Presidency at this point in time.
Okowa said: “There is no iota of truth. The Presidency is trying to be mischievous and is deliberately diverting its critics’ attention from the bad administration.”
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olise Ifeajika, in Asaba, said: “Though we would not demand an apology over the false allegations from the Federal Government, but my administration did not temper with council funds. Instead, I have been augmenting the funds over the years”.
In the same vein, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, said that he has never touched councils’ fund in the state.
Akeredolu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, disclosed that since the inception of his administration, council chairmen across the 18 local councils of the state, have been the ones sharing their monies at the monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), without his interference.
The governor also confirmed the receipt of 13 per cent oil derivation, subsidy and SURE-P refunds from the Federation Account in the last two years.
He said: “As a matter of policy, monies meant for local councils are shared at their monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC). The governor doesn’t touch local council funds. The council chairmen can attest to the fact that they have total freedom in the management of their funds.”
The governor said that the refunds he received from the Federal Government were judiciously expended on some key capital projects across the three senatorial districts of the state and payment of accumulated salary arrears.
He said his administration has been supporting the councils with N300m monthly to clear pensions, and also gave grant of N2.5b to thecouncils.
“ To me, the poverty in the country is the making of the Federal government, and not state governments, adding: “All roads that are bad in the states are federal roads.”