Ekiti State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has described as untrue and baseless the allegation by the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) that the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi made illegal deduction of #1 Billion from the monthly allocations meant for the 16 local government areas of the State.
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti, on Sunday, the State Chairman of ALGON , Hon Rotimi Ajidara who described the allegation as some “misinformation circulated by Ekiti NULGE” to cause unrest in the State, asserted that councils have reconciled all sums paid into the Joint Allocation Account Committee (JAAC) from the Federal Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) and found no iota of truth in the allegations.
Ajidara spoke just as the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi issued a seven day ultimatum to the leadership of the Ekiti State chapter of NULGE to retract the allegation that he ordered the illegal deduction of N1billion from the March and May allocations to the councils or risk a legal battle.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, took exception to the allegation by the NULGE leadership, which according to him, has no iota of truth.
Ajidara who highlighted the distribution of fund to the councils from January to July said the claim by the leadership of NULGE that #1,345,649,056.01 was released to the councils in March was not correct as record shows that #2,835,724,325.23 was disbursed. He added that contrary to the stance of NULGE that the councils got #1,476,368,871.53 in May, #2,064,845,343.63 was released to the councils account.
The ALGON chairman stressed that it was clearly impossible to have a surplus of #1 Billion to be deducted as alleged after first line charges including local government staff salary and leave bonus, primary school teachers salary and bonus, and subvention to local government parastatals have been deducted from JAAC; noting that NULGE was “out to make mischief”.
While affirming Governor Fayemi’s innocence, Ajidara said rather than tamper with local government funds, the state government under the leadership of Fayemi had contributed #1,396,811,554.28 to the construction of 5km township roads in each of the 16 local government areas.
The Chairman who urged Ekiti people to call “the drifting leadership of Ekiti State NULGE” to order instead of making itself to be used by” self-seeking politicians” said NULGE action was not unconnected to the misunderstanding between the Union and Local Government Administration on the payment of minimum wage as well as special salary package for medical and health workers at the council level.
Oyebode, in the statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, said the Governor cherishes his integrity and character and is ready to protect and preserve it, He pointed out that all actions and policies of the Governor are predicated on these two virtues.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has been drawn to the spurious allegation by the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Ekiti State Chapter, accusing him of illegally deducting N1billion from the monthly allocations meant for the 16 local government councils in the state.
“The allegation which is not only baseless, but a calculated attempt to dent the good image of the governor and the good record of his administration, has been orchestrated in the online and a particular print media with the sole aim of causing disaffection among Ekiti workers and also discrediting the person of the Governor.
“Needless to say that Governor Fayemi takes serious exception to the NULGE leadership’s handling of the allegation which has no iota of truth. “It is on record that the state Governor had, on several occasions, stated clearly that he does not fiddle with the allocations meant for the councils. The Governor still stands by his word.
“It is also an incontrovertible fact that Governor Kayode Fayemi came to government with two major credentials- his character and integrity. Thus his actions and policies are predicated on these two unique credentials which he cherishes and ever willing to protect and preserve.
“Therefore for the purpose of record, it is important to state unequivocally that at no time did the Governor order the deduction of N1billion from the allocations meant for the councils as alleged by NULGE and orchestrated by some political charlatans in the dubious attempt to score cheap political point.
“As a matter of fact, a simple breakdown of the monthly allocations to Ekiti State and the 16 councils shows that it is practically impossible to deduct N1billion from the councils’ allocation. It is quite ridiculous for anyone to claim that N1 billion is deducted from the councils’ allocation giving the fact that what is accrued to the 16 LGAs are usually pre-distributed at the Federation Account Allocation Committee based on some sharing indices.
“Contrary to claims by NULGE leaders, that only N1,345,649,056.01 was released to the LGAs in March, records show that N2,835,724,325.23 was released. Also for the month of May, where NULGE alleged that only N1,476,368,871.53, it is on record that the councils got the sum N2,064,845,343.63.
“The pertinent question to ask the leadership of NULGE is how and where it got its own figures?
“Giving the injury that this baseless and wicked lies have done to the person of Dr Kayode Fayemi, the leadership of NULGE, Ekiti State chapter, is therefore given seven days to withdraw the allegation or be prepared to hear from the Governor’s lawyers.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi remains focused in the pursuit of his eight-point agenda for the transformation of Ekiti State and no amount of campaign of calumny by groups or individuals is capable of distracting him.
“In ensuring good governance and transparency, the Fayemi –led administration has put in place some relevant laws including the fiscal responsibility law and the domestication of the Freedom of Information Law among others.”
Last modified: August 26, 2012