The truth about Osun finances – Ex-HOS

Governor Rauf Aregbesola
Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Former Head of Service (HOS) in Osun state, Mr. Olusegun Akinwusi has revealed that the state finances was not as bad as being painted by the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Akinwusi who retired as HOS in 2012 after serving in Aregbesola’s government for almost two years in a statement released in Osogbo at the weekend and titled, “Many lies of a dishonest government” made available details of funds allocation from the federation account to the state between November 2010 and December 2014.
The ex-HOS disclosure was coming at a time when the state government was battling over payment of salaries of the state workers and pension of the retirees.
According to him, “Leaders by all standards are supposed to be good role models, mentors and indeed heroes for the younger ones. That is why we encourage our children to read books and autobiographies of great leaders to guide their mental, social and intellectual developments. “But when against this norm our leaders are epitomes of deceit, lies and unstable character, I fear what these young ones will learn and copy of their lives.
Akinwusi explained that the figures released by Aregbesola to members of the state House of Assembly on the position of the economy of our state were not only bogus “but they were criminally deceitful.
“This government came on board in November, 2010; I will therefore give details of the income and expenditure as available on-line, especially from the Federation Account compared with what was presented to our state representatives.
He said the total funds from the federation account between November 2010 and December was N54.2 billion as against a sum of N29.9bn our governor declared to Osun State House of Assembly (OSHA).
The ex-HOS disclosed that Aregbesola declared a sum of N31.6billion for 2012 but the actual amount of fund received was N47.8billion while in 2013 the state got N44.7 as against a sum of N26.4bn was declared by the governor to Assembly.
In 2014, “Although there was a missing record of one month, we still had on the strength of the eleven (11) months – N36.7billion, while our governor declared only N19.3billion for the whole year.
“By the conclusion of the governor we received only N108.3bn all excluding our IGR, as against a total sum of N183.4bn excluding one month the period under review”.
“The gimmick of salaries of workers is fraught with many manipulations of figures as usual. The total staff strength of our workforce is below twenty-one (21,000). This is because over one-third of the workforce voluntarily retired in December, 2012.
“From grapevine, it is being speculated that since civil servants are no longer allowed to do their statutory duties, that is preparation of salaries, a number of fictitious names had found their way into the payroll of government, even people that have never been to Osun State.
“The figure of N3.6billion as salaries is spurious and over inflated, I challenge anyone that the best the salary bill could be cannot be more than N2.2billion.
“More importantly, besides the regular monthly allocation from the federation account, the followings also accrued to government coffers, Excess Crude Oil N67.1 billion, Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) N43.6 billion, SURE-P N14.4 billion and SUBEB N13.9 billion.
Akinwusi explained that there were other interventionist programmes including UNICEF, Multinational donations and MDG releases and others.
On the issue of loan, the former HOS said, “There has been a criminal deceit and lack of transparency in this matter. For example the public was made to believe that Islamic sukuk never attracted any interest.
“Today we are to pay a sum of N25.5billion to service a loan of N11.5billion. So also are some other loans procured by this government with a moratorium of 5-6years meaning that it would be due for repayment after 2020 and beyond.
“The issue of our debilitating debt profile honestly contradicts the quantum of resources that had flown into the government coffers, when viewed against the background of the various allocations to the state and local governments. Today, the entire allocations for the two tiers of governments are solely controlled by the governor.
Local government funds do not get to them, most are disbursed by the governor, while the so called Executives Secretaries merely endorse resolutions prepared for them to regularize the illegalities. No records, both at the state and local government levels about the disbursement of our releases for SURE-P and ECA funds.
“Let us ask the where about of N17.5billion borrowed for the dualisation of Osogbo to Ila-Odo, as corroborated by the Bank for infrastructure to date. These items like many others were replicated in the N60billion bond, yet all these projects have been abandoned; it on record that N9.7billion would be expended on the phony urban renewal project, all to date moribund.
“The Ido-Osun Airport project is another nagging matter, for which billions have been expended so far, and deceitful statements made about its completion in the media. The state government has no budget, this is because there is no adherence to the rules and norms of budget cycle.
“Contrary to the norm, there is nothing like Treasury Board for the preparation of this all important policy document, instead a kangaroo – meeting called bilateral talk is in vogue since the inception of the administration. That is why we spend over 60% in excess of our actual revenue. For example in 2011 a sum of N102bn was budgeted, increased to N146bn in 2012, to N235bn for 2013 and 2014 and N201bn for 2015. These figures were without recourse to budget performances in the previous years.
“The monthly FAC composed of eight (8) principal officers of government has been cancelled; therefore only the governor and his commissioner for Finance know the income and expenditure of government and thus our total debt profile. Not even the Accountant General or Permanent Secretary Finance have an inkling of this crucial function of government”, he added.

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