The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has accused Governor Ayo Fayose of being economical with the truth in his claim that the Federal government has withheld the state monthly allocation saying that if at all Fayose’s claim was true, “what would have been withheld is the special funds approved by the Federal Government for budget support intervention in the states.”
It said while not holding brief for the Federal Ministry of Finance, contrary to Governor Ayodele Fayose’s misinformation and lies to instigate Ekiti people against President Muhammadu Buhari and blackmail APC-led Federal Government as responsible for his inability to pay workers, it is the governor that should be blamed for the breach of agreement he signed with the Federal Government to enjoy the facility.
Fayose had on Tuesday called a press conference in Ado-Ekiti where he told reporters that the Federal Government was deliberately starving Ekiti State funds to cripple his development initiatives, including failing to pay workers, in order to set Ekiti people against his government to enable APC win the 2018 governorship election.
But reacting in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said Fayose was not saying the truth, explaining that failure of the governor to adhere to the terms of agreement in the approval of the money to the states was likely to be responsible for the stoppage of payment to Ekiti State.
He said the workers should hold the governor responsible for barring the state from enjoying the facility like his counterparts in other states.
“All the states that are enjoying the budget support funds to enable them pay workers salaries signed an agreement to allow the Federal Government monitor and audit the disbursement of this special fund, which is different from statutory monthly allocation from the Federation Account, for salary payment.
“While other states have kept to the agreement, Fayose asked his Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, to write to the Federal Government that the state would never open its accounts to the Federal Government for monitoring and auditing and it is only Ekiti governor that is breaching that agreement to qualify for the Budget Support Fund.
“Curiously, Fayose never told Ekiti workers that the state was enjoying this facility until it was stopped over breach of agreement and now he is crying that the state’s allocation was stopped for political reasons, whereas it is the budget support fund that might have been stopped and not the monthly statutory allocation,” he explained.
Olatunbosun added that even though Fayose had been collecting N1.3b every month in the last nine months as budget support fund to pay salaries, he never told workers that he was benefiting from the scheme, as workers were being owed seven months salary, but only to “fraudulently” turn around to deceive the people that Ekiti allocation was stopped by the Federal Government for political reasons.
He said: “Fayose administration’s fraudulent manner in conducting government business is responsible for the hardship workers are going through today. How could the workers have known that Fayose had been cruising home with N1.3b monthly which he has not accounted for?
“He is the only governor that disallowed the Federal Government from monitoring and auditing the disbursement of Budget Support fund as agreed with the Federal Government, the same way he is the only governor in the country who has refused to implement the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system; all these to enable him misappropriate Ekiti money without trace.
“We can see that in the secrecy surrounding the balances in the state’s internally generated revenue account, which no one knows anything about, and misappropriation of about N20b bailout he collected to pay salaries.
“Ekiti people, especially workers, should ask Fayose what he has done with N20b bailout he collected in two tranches, including the N10b he borrowed for capital projects which he has diverted through his contractors, N2b micro credit scheme which he allegedly pocketed, N2b Ecological Fund he can’t account for, N5b refund on roads and regular monthly allocation in the last 28 months that he has been in the saddle.
“Is the allocation of one month, which Fayose claimed was stopped, also responsible for non-payment of seven months salary of workers and nine months for pensioners after collecting N20b bailout and N1.3b Budget Support cash for nine months?”
Olatunbosun urged workers to hold Fayose responsible for their plights and not the Federal Government that had been releasing funds to Fayose to pay salaries but which he had misappropriated. Challenging the labour leaders, Olatunbosun said;
“We challenge the labour leaders to come out and defend the workers now and stop being Fayose’s lap dog.
“We challenge the workers and pensioners to verify if Fayose has not been collecting monthly allocation and budget support every month. They should set up a committee comprising the workers and pensioners and even we volunteer to be part of such committee as a fact finding mission to investigate how the Budget support fund is being expended monthly.
Olatunbosun berated Fayose for his greed;
“The budget support is not a national cake for Fayose to be putting in his personal account so there is no way the Federal government can fold its arms and watch Ekiti workers suffer why Fayose continue to divert money meant for their salary to his private pocket. The welfare of workers is paramount to the Buhari led administration and that’s why he has released such huge amount to Fayose who has diverted the money. This may have been responsible for the Federal government withholding the special fund.
Urging Fayose to sort out whatever accountability and transparency issues he had with the Federal Ministry of Finance and stop blackmailing the Federal Government over stoppage of Ekiti allocation, Olatunbosun said the governor had allegedly ruined the state, even as he insisted that he should be made to account for every kobo he received from the Federal Government, including the state’s internally generated revenue, since he assumed office.