Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has inaugurated a seven-man committee to investigate the accounts and finances of the state’s 33 local governments (LGs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The committee, which was given six weeks to submit its report, has the mandate to look into the council accounts from January 2018 to May 2019. It is to be chaired by retired Justice S. L. Popoola.
Also inaugurated alongside the committee at an event, which held at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, were two separate visitation panels to Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa and another visitation panel to The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki.
The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan; the governor’s Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; the Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola; Chairman, State Advisory Council Senator Hosea Agboola; Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matter Mr. Babatunde Oduyoye and the PDP state Chairman, Alhaja Kunmi Mustapha, among other dignitaries.
Speaking at the inauguration, Makinde explained that the committee was not set up to go after the past administration, but a way of setting the stage for his government to take off and deliver dividends of democracy to Oyo State residents.
He said: “The committee constituted to look into the accounts of the LGs and LCDAs from January 2018 to May 2019. This is highly needed at this time when there is paucity of funds and also the need to re-strategise and device means to fund activities of the government.
“Let me reassure you that this government is not in any way going after the past administration, we are only setting the stage for our government to take off and deliver dividends of democracy to the entire citizenry.
“In fact, I must say that the committee we are inaugurating today is pursuant to the Public Property and Funds Investigation and Recovery Panel law Cap 138 Vol 4 of the Oyo State Law, 2000 Section 3 of the law states thus: ‘Whenever it shall appear to the government of the state that any person or body of persons in the custody of any property belonging to the government or any company in which the state government has any interest, however, arising or is accountable to the government for any contract, entered into or purported to have entered into between him and the government or monies in which he may have collected on behalf or for the purpose of the government, the governor may set up a panel to investigate or ascertain the identity and the extent of such property or funds and make an order for recovery of such property or fund’.”
According to Makinde, the seven-man committee is expected to investigate any dealings with the funds of the LGs and LCDAs and other matters as they affect the local government and retrieve all monies traceable to any individual and impound any equipment traceable to any individual.
He added: “Let me at this junction, admonish the members of the committee to carry out this task efficiently and effectively. The task ahead is not that of the governor, but that given to them by the entire citizens of Oyo State.
“You are all on this committee to serve the people of Oyo State. The LG is the government at the grassroots level and they are the closest to the people. It is, therefore, important to take into consideration all matters that affect our people as we have promised them, a sound service agenda.
“Let me promise straightaway, our unquantified support in this assignment as we are determined to get to the root of any form of mismanagement that the Councils have been subjected to this past years.
“We, therefore, give this committee six weeks to complete their assignment. On this note, I appreciate all members of the committee for accepting to serve in this capacity and I wish you all success in these endeavours.”
Inaugurating the first female Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, the governor said he made a lot of introspection in making a decision to pick the new SSG out of the very eminently qualified personalities he had before him.
He said “In taking the decision to pick her out of the very eminently qualified personalities I had before me, I did a lot of introspection. There is this usual divide between politicians and technocrats.
“Some people would argue that the best person for the job is a politician, who understands the terrain as they put it. Others would say the engine room of government must be manned by a technocrat, who knows his or her onions.
“But I must say we need a focused government, which will deliver on its terms. We need capacity and lots of efficiencies and we need a packed personality who in a way, encapsulates all of that.”
He urged the new SSG to live up to expectation, saying many men are lurking by the corner, adding that the appointment was not based on sentiment, feminism or other undue sentiments.