The frittering of Cross River state local government funds continue even in a more brazen manner, 104 days after the 18 LG Chairmen were sworn in. A couple of them thought they would have access to their allocations and be able to deploy resources to development.
When it was initially difficult after taking office, some of them tried to protest. But they were soon invited to a meeting with the Chief of Staff to governor Ayade and reminded of how they were hand-picked into office. They were cowed.
Aside from the fact that they still don’t have direct access to their monthly allocations as stipulated in the NFIU rules, deductions are still been made from the Joint Accounts Allocation Committe JAAC account, lawlessly by the governor with the active connivance and collaboration of the LG Chairmen.
A letter titled *”REMITTANCE OF FUNDS: PROCUREMENT OF VEHICLES FOR CHAIRMEN, VICE CHAIRMEN AND LEADERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS”* signed by Mr. Jacob Adie, a Deputy Director of Accounts JAAC, for the State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs Stella Odey, which has been obtained by CrossRiverWatch, reads in part: “In compliance with the guidelines of the NFIU and approval from His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River state;
“In line with the above therefore, I request the Local Government Councils to remit the sum of N67,777,777.78k (sixty seven million, seven hundred and seventy seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy seven Naira, seventy eight kobo) only, being funds for the procurement of the above vehicles to the account details specified below as soon as Council account is credited.
Account Name: CRS Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Common Services Account.
Bank: First Bank of Nigeria
Account No: 2033935968.
The letter which did not specify the section of the NFIU guidelines it was complying with, was dated September 2, 2020 with reference number: MLGA/S/JAAC/40/Vol. 1/847 and addressed to all 18 LG Chairmen and the monies, totalling N1,220,000,000.04 Kobo (One billion, two hundred and twenty million, four kobo), have since been remitted as directed.
In a related development, the illegal deduction of N2.5 million monthly, under SECURITY COVERAGE sub-head, which subsisted during the reign of the immediate past Heads of Local Government Administrators HOLGAs, has been edged higher.
CrossRiverWatch investigation gathered that, after some of the LG Chairmen unsuccessfully protested the deduction of N2.5million monthly from their allocations for security coverage, they decided to strike a ‘deal’ with the government house.
The protest of the LG Chairmen according to multiple sources in several LGAs, was because, after withdrawal of N2.5million from their accounts, the Councils are only given 500k and asked to retire the N2.5million and some felt that security at the LGA is something that the LG Chairmen can do by themselves with the N2.5million.
When the protest didn’t yield the desired result, the LG Chairmen then decided to connive with the Ministry to pad N2.7million into the monthly security coverage sub head, making it N5.2million, up from N2.5 million per LGA.
The N2.7million padding also had a sharing formula. N1million for the Councilors and N1.7million for each Council Chairman, while the N2.5million is said to be remitted to the State House of Assembly, though this claim hasn’t been independently verified by CrossRiverWatch.
But even with this compromised sharing formula, CrossRiverWatch learnt that the Chairmen are up in arms with the Ministry because after remitting N5.2million, the State kept N4.2million and only gave the Chairmen N1million against what was agreed.
More details @CrossRiverWatch.com
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