The chairman of Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria (LOGPAN) Ogun State chapter, Pastor Benedict Ademoye has said that all the council chairmen in the twenty local governments in Ogun State recieved federal allocations from the State Government.
The LOGPAN chairman revealed that any chairmen who didnt execute projects should be investigated and asked what he has used his money to do.
He disclosed that none of the chairmen can deny the fact that they did not get allocations from the state government.
Ademoye said that the State Government gave them money to execute some of the commissioned by them and not from their personal pockets.
The LOGPAN chairman claimed that the allegations filed against the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun by the impeached Ijebu-East local government chairman, Hon. Wale Adedayo regarding the local government allocations are false.
Ademoye, who is also a member of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the state, stated this on Monday while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital.
He noted that, the allegations are not the first of its kind in the history of Ogun State since the civilian government, adding that at that period both workers and Pensioners were owned which led to the idea of creation of the committee.
Ademoye stressed that, this kind of issue is always from a single local government, whereas it is not the fault of the both past and present administrations.
The LOGPAN chairman added that the system which Ogun state is using is what other states are using across the Nation, saying that the state government mostly augment the local government allocations.
He also highlighted how the local governments were operating during the military government but the system was later change due to ability to pay workers and Pensioners.
He however, confirmed that the state government is not the one who spend the Local government Allocations on their behalf but the statutory officer at each local government.
On the issue regarding gratuity of the pensioners, he said the state government truly disbursed 1bn for Pensioners in March, 2023 and August but they still owning June and September
“Statutorily, according to Constitutional provision, there is a Joint Local government Allocation Committee that sit every month when Allocation comes from Abuja. Some days ago, we were summoned to Abeokuta for a meeting.
“All local government chairmen and members, Presidents of NULGE are members, representative of Primary School Teachers and my self who is a representative of LOGPAN, Four Representatives of Traditional council in Ogun State, which includes Egba, Remo, Ijebu and Awori. We hold the meeting every month.
“At the press conference addressed by the SSG, the Chief Economic Adviser really gave the financial outlook from 2019 to August 2023. That was the correct position of the account of the Joint Account Allocation Committee from the inception of Gov. Abiodun’s administration till August. And it is in public domain. Each stakeholder given the copy. If anybody tell you anything contrary, is false.
“Allegations filed against Gov. Abiodun by Ijebu-East local government chairman, Wale Adedayo is a false. I want to educate Ogun citizens particularly people that have stake in local government administration. This is the Fourth time that kind of thing happened.
“It happened during the first Four year of civilian Administration of first Republic and happened in second term of the administration. It also happened during the immediate past Administration and is now happening. That is to tell you that what is happening is not the fault of the present and past governors but the system.
“During the first four year of the first republic, it got to a point where Local government staff were owned Eight Months salary, Six Months salary, Pensioners were not been paid at all, people were dying and that was why at that time the workers Union, Pensioners and the Government of that time stand up to design this present system of disbursement that is called joint service. So, when allocation comes from Abuja, all of us sit down. First line charge is Constitutional when the Government take this revenue the first thing is first line charge.
“The first line charge are salary of workers, pension of retirees and another things that will make people to have food on their tables before you start spending the remaining if there is any. That is what has been happening since the first republic in 1999. The funniest part of it is that, this thing happens in this same local government, you will know that something is happening. It requires a kind of meetings because ‘a part cannot be greater than a whole’. If in the first republic somebody from that Local government brought this issue, second one, third one and this one from same local government, you will see that it is not actually the fault of the governor but the system. It beyond Ogun State, it happens through out the federation.
“When this happened in Ogun state, we designed the system and other 35 states came to Ogun State to copy it; that is why it happens in other states. Even, most states are worsen than Ogun State. So, the claim of the gentle man was wrong. If he has spoken to experienced, competent and knowledgeable practitioners of local government, they would have explained it to him. The implication of what is said is that, those of us sitting every month are collaborators; which is not true.
“There is a supervisory ministry, which is ministry of local government. There are bodies within that local government system. The head of Local government Administration are Twenty, chairmen are Twenty, there is ministry of local government supervising the local government. That is how we did it during first year of civilian Administration where everybody came together on how do we solve this problem. This system that is having problem. It is over 20 years, so there is nothing bad in revisiting the system and improving it and see that this problem is eliminated.
“If you look at the presentation of the Government, apart from maintaining the first line charge, there are times when this money will not be enough where the Government augment it to make sure everybody get their salaries. Then, there are times when we have surplus.
“Lately, the local government chairmen celebrated their two years in Office and there were commissioning of projects. The money didn’t come from their personal pocket but from the state government. What we need is to change the present system. There was a time when local government were constructing roads, buying road equipments and building gutters.
“During the military administration, the system was modified by then, contrary to the intention of the Constitution. But the military did not do the necessary Constitution review before handed over to the civilian. Those actions taken by military. So, the civilian Administration in the first republic to sit down and resituated the local government system to go in line with the Nigeria Constitution.
” It was the Local government reformed. And then, primary health and primary Education was merged with local government but there wasn’t sufficient provision that will make money sufficient to cover the first line charge and those additional responsibilities were bestowed to Local government.
“State government is not the one managing the local government allocations because every month we meet, they present it, they adopt, they pass and within 24hours everybody will get their money. The local government get their money through the head of Local government Association and the Treasurer. Government has supervisory role over the local governments.
“The impeached local government chairman cannot win the war. The first and second persons did not win it; he cannot be an exceptional because ‘a part can never be greater than a whole’. And governor cannot be watching the thing that will breach the peace of the state; because if workers and pensioners are not getting their salaries, there is breach of peace.