The government of the State of Osun has said that local government authorities in the state get their monthly allocations promptly.
The government, through a statement by the Supervisor, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mikhail Adebisi, said there was no time the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola flouted Nigeria Finance Intelligence Unit rules by diverting funds meant for the various council areas in the state from monthly federal allocations.
The Osun government was reacting to a report published by Sahara Reporters on Tuesday where it was revealed that the administration had been diverting funds meant for local government areas.
According to the report, the Osun government had disbursed local government funds it received from the Federation Account only three times in the last 14 months, flouting the NFIU law binding on all states of the federation in the process.
The report also said that workers were being paid between the end of the second week and the beginning of the third week of the subsequent month as a result of this illegal deduction, which sees funds meant for local governments being transferred from a Wema Bank account credited by the Federal Government into a Zenith Bank account for two weeks to yield interest.
The report added that what local governments in Osun got from March 2018 to May 2019 was less than 10 per cent of the actual allocation of the amount that should have reached them.
It further stated that the sum of money lodged in the special purpose account monthly to be in excess of N3bn on the average.
But debunking the allegations on Thursday, Adebisi said that the administration of Governor Oyetola had been transparent in the handling of what should get to the local councils.
He added that the administration had been transparent in the manner in handles funds meant for every tier of government.
He said, “Local government funds from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee go to Zenith Bank, which is their main account, whereas their (LGs) salary account is domiciled in Wema Bank.
“It is important to note that funds are usually moved from Zenith Bank to Wema Bank for the purpose of salaries and pension payments.
“It is, however, important to state here that under the law, salaries, which includes those of teachers in elementary and middle schools, workers at local governments and other mandatory deductions like contributory pension and five per cent traditional rulers’ allowances, is on first line charge.
“As such, these components are deducted at source. There was no time the government ever diverted any money meant for the local government areas.
“Local Government Areas in Osun get their allocations regularly. There is nothing in the current arrangement in the state that is suggestive of funds diversion.
“We are determined to run an open and transparent administration and we remain accountable to our people at all times.”