17 February 2017
The Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State has launched an attack on the Federal Government for seizing the state’s allocation from the Budget Support Facility, BSF.
In defence of this claim, the Director of Information of the Federal Ministry of Information, Mr. Salisu Na’Inna, denied withholding statutory allocations due to Ekiti state.
He described Fayose’s claims as ‘incorrect’ as what was withheld from the state was funds from Budget Support Facility.
He explained further that the Finance Ministry stopped paying Ekiti State funds from the Budget Support Facility, BSF, because the state failed to meet the requirements it set for the programme in alliance with governors of the 36 states of the federation.
Na’Inna added that Ekiti had been warned about the situation, as at August, last year, but that the warning was ignored.
In an interview following this response, Governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose expressed his shock at the response of the Finance Ministry.
He said: ‘’She [Finance Minister] denied stopping our allocation because we failed to meet the requirement at the Federal Executive Council meeting, yesterday (Wednesday).’’
Ekiti State government in its reaction, described the explanation as an afterthought meant to mislead the public.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the state signed for N14.4 billion and had received funds monthly in the last seven months from the Ministry of Finance.
“So when did they realise that Ekiti State did not meet the conditions? Or did they send the allocations in the last seven months in error?” Olayinka queried.
He also argued that there was no warning letter or notification from the Ministry of Finance before the governor raised the alarm, else there would have been no need for the governor to write a letter to the ministry demanding explanations on the non-release of the funds.
“As I am talking to you, we have not received any letter from the ministry, if they sent any letter, maybe they sent it today. This explanation is an afterthought.”
PDP in Ekiti State on the other hand blamed the entire rumble on the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The party described the action as not only anti-people but also a deliberate attempt to undermine Fayose’s government and make Ekiti ungovernable, ahead of the 2018 governorship election.
Ekiti state PDP Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, said that the APC-led FG had become a party of woe that would not care about the welfare of the people it governed.
“It’s only in a despotic state you can think of government playing politics with the welfare of the governed, while decorating governance with blind vengeance as it operates now with the APC- led FG.”
APC also defended itself saying there was no truth in the claim of Governor Fayose that the FG had withheld the state monthly allocation, stating that what was withheld was the special funds approved by the Federal Government for budget support intervention in states.