Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government said it is unperturbed by the directive from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) that monthly allocations from the federation accounts should go directly to the 774 local government areas of the federation, as against the usual joint account been operated.
Some state governments are alleged to have habitually shortchanged local government councils by managing their joint accounts with the local governments, necessitating the decision of NFIU to bypass the constitutionally authorised state/local government joint account.
Making this known at the state’s valedictory executive council meeting on Tuesday in Asaba, the Commissioner for Information, Delta State, Chief Patrick Ukah said the state was not among those allegedly diverting monies meant for the local government through mismanaging of the said joint account, noting that it has not only complied with the statutory provision but has actually given out loans from time to time in support of the 25 local government areas in the state since 1999.
On his part, the Commissioner for Finance, Delta State, Hon David Edevbie said that the state government gave the sum of N348 million to enable the local government councils pay what they owed teachers between April 2011 and June 2012 following the old increase in minimum wage under the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said: “In September 2018, the state government also lent the local councils the sum of N5 billion to enable them offset backlog of salaries following the drastic drop in monthly allocation from the federation account due to the nationwide economic downturn.”
Speaking, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said he has given members of the outgoing state executive until close of work on Friday, May 24, 2019 to hand over to their respective permanent secretaries.
He nevertheless thanked the members for the collaborative efforts and commitment to the translation of the policies and programmes of his administration into visible dividends of democracy for the people.