From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, has declared that Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration has not tampered or taken a dime from the statutory allocations from the Federal Government to the local governments in the state.
Afuape equally declared that local governments, under the incumbent administration in the state, have performed better than they did in the last ten years.
The commissioner stated these while addressing the local government chairmen shortly before the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting for the month of August, held on Monday, at the Obas’ Complex, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He told the LG chairmen that the monthly allocation from the FG can no longer be enough to fund expenditures of the local governments.
According to him, the state government has been augmenting the allocations in order for the LGs in the state to meet up with their obligations.
Afuape, who explained that the clarification became necessary in the face of allegations in some quarters that the state government was shortchanging the local governments on their allocations, said without the support of the state government, local government administration would have collapsed totally.
He disclosed that from July, 2019 and March, 2021, local governments in the state received a sum of N63.7b from the federation account, while the total expenditure in the period under review was over N70bn.
Afuape said the expenditure included salaries and pension of local government staff, salaries of primary school teachers and allocation to the traditional institution.
He added that the total allocation in the period under review could not even offset salaries, pensions and other emoluments under the purview of the local government.
The Commissioner further disclosed that the state government gave grants to local governments twice so that they could carry out projects.
According to him, over 140 projects had been completed by the state government across the 20 local government areas, adding the target was to ensure that each of the 236 wards has at least a project.
While urging the LG chairmen to be creative and find ways to generate revenue in their respective council areas, Afuape said workshop would soon be organised for the council bosses to map our strategies revenue generation.