The news broke that a secret account containing N 4.3billion was discovered by the government of Ondo State. According to the information out there, there were conflicting stories about how the said secret account was discovered. As usual, we are more concerned about who discovered it and how much was in the account than the implications of it on the finance of the state and its propriety. Perhaps we are interested in the advantage the politics of it can confer on where we belong. So, our views and supports are based on where we are coming from.
As a bothered citizen, it is shocking that a whole monthly salary of both civil servants and other public servants in the entire state of ours were missing from the government coffers without anybody knowing for ten good years! Other than the political noise from it’s discovery, we must begin to think and be bothered about the bleak future that awaits us, and unfortunately, that we are going to live behind for our children.
What kind of a fraudulent system will encourage the secrecy of such huge amount of the state fund in secret account for ten undetected years? We have a failed financial public system here. Now I ask, do government officials just walk into the banking hall and put government fund into any account he or she prefers or open a new bank account without any approval or documentation with the state accountant general or the accounting officer in the ministry or departments where the fund belongs?
Why has it been kept secret all this while, a whole ten years? How come the bank has never deemed it fit to bring it to the hearing of the Accountant General? I am aware such recovery or discovery was not in anywhere in the revenue side of the 2020 budget. So, from where did the state government derived the power to spend the secret fund?
That the state government, having discovered the money; failed to report it’s discovery and silently spent the N4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 reveals a sinister motive and a wicked conspiracy against the entire citizenry. Even when such money was discovered, it is very inappropriate for the government of Ondo state to have spent it without first appropriate for it . Whosoever advised Mr governor to approve the spending of the money has done a great damage to the government.
I think the public must ask how many people were signatories to the account when it was opened? Àfter it’s discovery, who are the signatories to the account? What happens to the interest element? Did the interest accrue to the same account and if yes how much is it? The House of Assembly must get to the root of the matter. This should not be reduced to legislative banters where only voice votes will be used to decide the matter.
The House of Assembly must remove the garb of secrecy in and around the N4.3billion for ten years and report back to the masses their findings on the matter. And whosoever is involved in the matter must be brought to book. That is the main reason they were elected by the people of Ondo state.