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We’re Not Starving LG Authorities Of Funds Says Makinde• Reveals Why ALGON Can’t Share N14b Saved
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has assured residents of the state that there will be significant improvements in infrastructural facilities across the state, saying that the government has been pushing investments to the local governments because it knows the importance of grassroots development.
Makinde stated this on 10th October, 2021, at the swearing-in of ten commissioners designate held at the Council Chamber, Governor’s Office, Agodi, Secretariat.
He added that the administration’s integrated approach to governance has begun to yield positive results and is already bringing developments.
He stated that the implementation of the World Bank-backed Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) will ensure that the rehabilitation of rural roads will soon kick off. His words:
“We know the importance of development at the grassroots; this is why we keep pushing for investments to go to local government areas. Just last week, we were in France and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Bayo Lawal, was there, having meetings with investors willing to come and collaborate with us.
“For example, we have been receiving several reports of people complaining about roads. Some have even gone as far as saying that the state government is starving the local government authorities of funds.
“Local government funds from FAAC go directly into the Joint Allocation Accounts Committee (JAAC) account. But after they have drawn first-line charges such as salaries for primary school teachers and local government workers and expenses for primary healthcare centres, what is left is meagre. Also, local government authorities are in charge of all the funds from their internally generated revenue.
“When we came in as an administration, we had 11 local government councils with a backlog of salaries and we had to pay the backlogs. And we don’t want to walk that route again.
“Everybody seems to be looking at the money we have saved so far.
“When we came in, we started building the local government, especially those periods when we were using HLAs to run the local council areas, we were saving an average of 1billion Naira every month. Yes, we have built it up to about 12 -14billion Naira but they cannot share it.
“We will use it as a stabilisation fund for them, not for us. The state is not interested in spending their money or telling them how to spend their money but the state will not also sit by and let workers in those local government areas be denied their salaries at the end of the month.
“So, we will engage with the leadership of ALGON and I believe the people of Oyo State will see a marked improvement in infrastructure, especially the road,” the governor concluded.