Osun State Government has dismissed the allegations by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that over N6 billion was expended by the Office of the Governor in 2016.
The Renaissance recalls that PDP had, in a press briefing on Wednesday, made the allegation, citing the 2016 audit report on the state account.
It said the report revealed that the governor spent a whopping sum of over N6 billion as over-head cost in his office at a time when the state workers were being paid modulated salary.
But in a reaction, the state government described the allegation as a mere ‘ranting of an ant’.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lani Baderinwa, said the allegation was prompted by the fact that the PDP was jittery by the recent development in the state, which indicated overwhelming support of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by the populace.
“The recent goodwill visits to all the nine Federal Constituencies in the state by Gov. Rauf Aregbesola in the last two weeks and the Tuesday mega rally in Osogbo is making PDP jittery and has proved that they are nowhere to be found,” Baderin stated.
However, supporting the PDP position, the state party chairman, Soji Adagunodo said the office of the governor, which is made up of the governor, deputy governor, Secretary to the State Government and Chief of Staff expended over N6 billion in one year.
He alleged that the amount was higher than the entire money spent on education, agriculture and health in the same year.
“Of this N6,367,390,350, the sum of over N5.5 billion was spent on overhead in the office of the governor.
“This was an increase of almost 400 per cent on the sum of N1.2 billion spent on the same over-head in 2015.
“The question is what could be responsible for this astronomical rise in the overhead cost of running the office of the governor within 12 months?
“How much of this money was funnelled into private pockets and on political patronage?” Adagunodo queried.
PDP attributed the economic challenges of the state to the profligacy and corrupt practices of the administration and rebuked the governor for plunging the state into what it described as a ‘huge debt’ which would take many years to settle.
“Other financial irregularities discovered in the report include the building of a website for over N10 million and the spending of over N276 million on the maintenance of infrastructure in the governor’s office while a paltry sum of over N1 million was spent on the maintenance of infrastructure in all the health institutions in the state.”
The chairman then called on the anti-graft agencies to beam their search-light on the finances of the Osun State Government, even as he promised to reveal more details about financial misconducts of Aregbesola’s administration in the last seven and half years.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo