The state of Ondo has refuted a media allegation claiming that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu spent N7.3 billion without the state House of Assembly’s consent.
The report said that during the three months he was on a medical vacation in Germany, notably from July to September of this year, the governor used the funds for “Contingency.”
But in a statement on Tuesday, Richard Olatunde, the chief press secretary for Akeredolu, refuted the report.
The heading of the statement said, “Re: Akeredolu spent N7.3 billion on “Contingency” in three months without the House of Assembly’s approval.”
Olatunde asserted that the Akeredolu-led administration was committed to accountability and openness, despite refuting the claim.
“It is crucial to clarify unequivocally that the cited N7.3 billion represented the total amount of palliative funds received from the Federal Government,” the statement stated. These monies were allotted under the subheading of contingencies to cover unanticipated costs that were not originally budgeted for but were judged essential throughout the fiscal year.
Although the 2023 budget’s initial contingency fund was N1,069,000,000.00, the extra N7 billion comes from money obtained from the federal government under the name “Infrastructure Support Fund,” which is intended to be used for palliative measures to lessen the impact of the loss of fuel subsidies.
The creation of a contingency fund is described in part five, subsections (i) and (ii) of the Ondo State Public Finance Management Law 2017. It says this: This establishes a contingency fund. (ii) Emergency expenses (other than statutory expenses) that are not covered by the current year’s appropriations law but that, in any other case, cannot be covered by the consolidated revenue fund or the capital expenditure and development fund may be funded with money from the contingency fund.
The CPS went on to say that the emergency monies were intended to cover costs that were critical to the public interest and needed to be addressed right away but were not covered by the current year’s appropriation law.
The N7.3 billion was not personally spent by Governor Akeredolu; instead, it was used for palliative care. The federal government disbursed the monies to the state as part of its nationwide efforts to lessen the effects of the elimination of fuel subsidies.
“Our administration is still dedicated to upholding the strictest guidelines for fiscal restraint. Allegations of improper behavior are baseless. The public is urged to rely on reliable sources of information and not be influenced by inflammatory statements that lack supporting evidence. The statement said, “The palliative committee will provide the public with information regarding the palliative fund’s expenditures in due course.