by Usman Alabi
There are allegations that some governors cannot clearly account for the Paris Club refund they got.
Ekiti is one of those states accused of that, the reason why the state governor came out to clear the air on allegation. But beyond just clearing the allegation which the governor did, there are better ways to nip in the bud such accusations or to avoid them. Open government and outright accountability is the key, and that is exactly what YMonitor is advocating.
Open governance and accountability and transparency would put an end to whatever suspicion people have for their government. A government that will do this would have to be all-inclusive.
Most times, our governors wait until they are accused before making up some figures to clear the air or clear their name.
The governor while denying the allegation said whenever he receives allocation from the Federal Government, he invites workers’s leaders to a roundtable on how the money should be spent.
According to him, the Paris Club loan refund that came to the state was N8.8 billion out of which N5.4 belonged to the state government and N3.4 billion to the local government.
“Out of our own N5.4 bn, we signed an agreement with the Federal Government that 50 per cent of it would go to human capital development by way of gratuities, pensions, salaries etc.
The remaining 50 per cent is in the revenue consolidated account of the government to meet other financial obligations to other sectors of the economy.
Also, Chief Toyin Ojo, Commissioner for Finance, gave the breakdown of how the money was channeled for state use. He said “July MDAs salary, N1.4 billion; allowances of social welfare, N1.4 billion; feeding and maintenance of special schools, Ido, N2.4 million; feeding and maintenance of special school, Ikoro, N855.6 million; July 2016 subvention N722,468,038.83; June 2016 pension, N323,463, 439.79 all totaling N2,461,845,132.16.
It is also important for the Governor to understand that they do not have to take offence when people demand for accountability and transparency in government spending. The reason why people go into criticisms most times is because the activities of government are done in the dark and considered esoteric. Hence accusations from all quarters, but if the information about how money is spent is in the public, there would not be question as to whether the funds were spent especially if what they are spent on are verifiable.
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