Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan | 4 November 2014 | 3,504 times
Oyo State governor Abiola Ajimobi has frowned at the dwindling monthly allocation to states by the Federal Government and the delay in disbursing the money. He warned that if the trend continues, the state might not be able to promptly pay workers and carry out other financial obligations.
Ajimobi stated this during the 2014 National Council on Development Planning Meeting held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), University of Ibadan.
According to him, “The allocation to the state has been reduced by almost 40 per cent now. Even the allocations were not being released as at when due, as a result of what the Federal Government claimed was a fall in the price of crude oil.”
The governor declared that the financial position of Oyo State, as of now, is nothing to write home about. He added, however, that the situation is not peculiar to the state, pointing out that even some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have also cried out over their inability to meet up with their financial obligations as a result of dwindling and delayed federal allocations.
Senator Ajimobi disclosed that at the inception of his administration in May 2011, the monthly federal allocation stood at about N4.2 billion while the salary and wages stood at N2.9 billion. He lamented that the statutory allocation has of recent been reduced to about N3.2 billion while the salary and wages had risen to about N5 billion.
“As a result, Oyo State had been on monthly deficit of about N1.8 billion,” Governor Ajimobi said. He appealed to the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, save the states from grinding to a halt. He noted that the declining oil revenue has once more shown that there is no alternative than the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
In his address, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, said that the fall in the price of crude oil from $100 to $80 per barrel in the international market is bound to have a negative effect on the country’s economy.
Dr. Sulaiman, however, assured that his ministry was already working with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to develop a contingency plan.
The minister stressed that the Federal Government cannot do it alone and therefore urged all the 36 states and local government council in Nigeria to continue working together, with a view to achieving the same goal in uplifting the nation.
•Photo shows Governor Ajimobi.
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