Ondo 2019 Budget: Group Berates Akeredolu on Extravagant, Outrageous Budget, Demands Withdrawal of FOI Appeal From Court

Ondo 2019 Budget: Group Berates Akeredolu on Extravagant, Outrageous Budget, Demands Withdrawal of FOI Appeal From Court

Sunshine Liberation Front(SLF), a nonpartisan, nonprofit and nongovernmental organization, founded to ask for a better governance, more dividends of democracy and general well-being of the good people of the Sunshine State and Nigeria, is concerned that the government of Ondo State earmarked a total of #13million for calls in the Office of the Governor and

Sunshine Liberation Front(SLF), a nonpartisan, nonprofit and nongovernmental organization, founded to ask for a better governance, more dividends of democracy and general well-being of the good people of the Sunshine State and Nigeria, is concerned that the government of Ondo State earmarked a total of #13million for calls in the Office of the Governor and whopping #500million to receive and entertain guests in the 2019 budget estimates.

In a state where public utilities and infrastructure are in a state of derelict, conditions of schools and campuses appalling and the health sector nosediving, the governor and his cronies are earmarking hundreds of millions to entertain guests, tens of millions to make calls and a huge #100m for the deputy governor to represent the governor in any function, with tens of millions budgeted to settle hotel and bills and other unnecessary expenditures.

In the breakdown of the 2019 approved budget for Ondo State, the governor will spend #107m on local travels and transportation as against the #157 earmarked and #139m spent in 2018. His telephone charges will gulp #13m, office stationeries and computer consumables #25m and printing of security document #13m. All these under the overhead cost.

The Office of the Governor will also spend #53m on Maintenance of Motor Vehicles as against the #31m spent out of #53m approved for it in 2018. Just like in 2018, Maintenance of Office Furniture will gulp #12m while Local Training will consume a total of #19m.

#150m has been budgeted to the Office of the Governor on Refreshment and Meals while #26m will go on Welfare Packages which gulped #6.9m last year.

In the Special Programmes, the Domestic Passage for the Governor will gulp #450m, Donations #230m, Maintenance of Boats and the Government House #14m and #64m respectively. The governor will spend #130m to settle hotel bills, use #336m to buy gift items during festivities and spend #500m to host state guests during special events. The governor will fuel his cars with #80m worth of fuel in 2019.

The office of the Deputy Governor will spend #145m on local travels and transportation while a total of #100m will be spent by the same Deputy Governor to attend state functions on behalf of the Governor. The office spent #64.3m out of the #90m budgeted for representing the governor in 2018 fiscal year while #72.5m was used for local travel by the governor out of the #145m in 2018.

Also, under the Overhead Cost expenditures, #25m would be spent to maintain the Deputy Governor’s vehicles while in the Special Programs, the maintenance of the same Deputy Governor’s vehicles would gulp #30m. In 2018, #18m was spent out of #25m to maintain the vehicles in the Special Programs while a total of #12.5m out of #25m was used for same purpose in the overhead cost.

Furthermore, printing of non-security document in the Ofiice of the Deputy Governor will consume #9m, local training #20m, Refreshment and Meals #10m, Welfare Packages #10m and the maintenance of Office Furniture #15m.

The Deputy Governor will settle his hotel bills with #25m.

The governor and his cohorts have continued to show the people of the state, and the nation in general, that accountability and transparency have been thrown to the dogs while riding on the horse of corruption, galloping away without considering the millions in the state struggling to make ends meet.

SLF is also interested in the Freedom of Information(FOI) Act, which the governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu, has refused to sign into law. Ondo state government, after failing at the Appellate Court, still went ahead to challenge the decision at the Supreme Court. Is there anything Arakunrin Akeredolu is hiding from the public?

Ondo State government must withdraw the case from the courts, open its books and allow concerned and interested active citizens and groups access them. You were ‘employed’ to manage our resources and must be accountable and respond to our requests.

SLF will continue to engage the government, demand for good governance and challenge the irresponsible one(s) either in the law court or public space. We will stem the tide of corruption in government and work hard towards bringing to book the enemies of the land, doctoring papers and siphoning our limited resoures.

Comr. Akinyele Akinwale

Sunshine Liberation Front.

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