Ekiti State government has announced that the Federal Ministry of Finance has released the N1.1 billion budget support fund it recently said was seized by the Federal Government. This issue was all over last week…
A government statement on Saturday said Governor Ayodele Fayose disclosed this at the weekend while commenting on some national issues.
In the statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the governor was quoted as saying that “the Federal Ministry of Finance has communicated state officials on the release of the money.”
Fayose had said: “I don’t want to join issues with anybody on the allocation. It is a statutory allocation for all the states. I can confirm to you here that by Tuesday next week, I will get the bank alert for the money. An official communication on the release was passed to me on Thursday.”
The state government and officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance were at loggerheads over the non-release of the money last week.
The Ekiti State government said the money initially been paid into the state government’s account penultimate Thursday, “but was withdrawn a day later for reasons not disclosed to Ekiti State government officials.”
The development led Governor Fayose to raise the alarm in a press conference and followed it up by going to the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja last Wednesday to formally lodge an official protest against the action.
However, the Federal Ministry of Finance reacted by saying that the money was withheld because the state did not fulfil some obligations, a claim also denied by the state government.
Governor Fayose, through one of his aides, Mr Lere Olayinka, had described the federal ministry’s reaction as “an afterthought meant to mislead the public.”
Olayinka had said: “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? If they sent any letter, maybe they sent it because the governor was there and before then, no one knew the reasons the funds were not released.
“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.”
The fund was set up by the Federal Government last year to ensure state governments have enough money to be able to pay workers’ salaries as a result of dwindling monthly statutory allocations.
Only Lagos State is not part of the deal that would last for a year.