Ogun Reveals LGs’ Allocations Not Enough for Salaries, Pensions

James Sowole in Abeokuta

The Ogun State Government yesterday revealed that statutory allocations accrued to 20 local governments in the state from the Federation Accounts were not sufficient for their first line charges if it did not augment the allocations.

The Secretary to the State Government Mr Tokunbo Talabi and Chief Economic Adviser Mr Dapo Okubadejo, revealed this at a news conference they held at the Olusegun Osoba Press Centre, Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

At the news conference, Talabi noted that the process of funding local governments in the state was transparent, open and is in line with constitutional provision through the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC)

He added that the state government had been augmenting statutory allocations accrued to the local governments from the Federation Accounts due to shortfalls occasioned by COVID-19 and the economic downturn in the country.

Reading out their statutory allocations month by month, Okubadejo said the state government had been cushioning shortfall in the councils’ funds to meet their first line charge obligations rather than deducting from them.

He said: “First Line charges from the local government allocations are salaries of primary school teachers, salaries of primary healthcare workers, pensions of councils’ retirees, salaries of council workers, payment of traditional rulers allowances among others.

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He specifically disclosed that the total amount spent by the state government to augment councils’ allocations from the Federation Account so that they could meet their first line charges amounted to N17.4 billion.

According to him, amount accrued to local governments in 2020 was N34.75 billion while amount needed for first line charges was N43.121billion, leaving a deficit of N6.619 billion.

In 2021, Okubadejo disclosed that N33.723 billion accrued to the 20 local governments while first line charges, amounted to N47.845 billion.

He also disclosed that while N48.074 billion, accrued to councils in 2022, NN54.182 billion, was paid as First Line Charges 

“As we were getting into 2023, just for this administration alone, we were coming with a deficit that the state government has paid for of almost N17.4 billion.

“The state government covers this deficit because it affects the salaries and pension of local government staff, primary school teachers, health workers and traditional council members.

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He said that at no time was there any disagreement between the chairmen of the local governments and the state government.

Also at the conference, Talabi denied any diversion of statutory allocations and zero allocation.

Rather, he insisted that the present administration has been transparent, accountable, just and equitable in spreading developmental projects to all parts of the State with inputs from local government chairmen in the last few years.

He said the state government “routinely sends money to the councils to execute some projects to better the lots of the people at the grassroots.

 “Till date, the state government has provided over N1.8 billion for all these local governments to do independent projects, in addition to whatever the state government has done, what the federal government has done and in addition to funding the deficit.

“Because we are in an environment where people want to see what you have done, Governor Abiodun from time to time, makes money available to each of the local governments to execute some community-based projects.

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