The Ekiti state government had rejected plans by the Senate to probe how bailout funds granted the state to settle salary arrears by the federal government were spent. The government citing sections of the constitution said Nigeria’s federal system does not give the Senate the constitutional power to exercise oversight over finances of the states.
But the APC publicity secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement on Thursday, November 17, rejected the government’s explanation, saying the bailout was different from the regular federal allocation that could not be monitored by the allocating authority. The party spokesperson accused the governor of trying to avoid scrutiny on how he spent the funds.
Olatunbosun said: “Fayose cannot pretend that he did not know that the Federal Government attached certain terms and conditions to the bailout before he collected it and we wonder why a governor that agreed to the terms is now refusing to explain how he spent the money to establish transparency in the application of such terms. “The bailout is like taking a bond that is programme-specific and Fayose knew this before he took the bailout and we wonder why he is now behaving as if the bailout is a Father Christmas gift that doesn’t require accountability.
“It is now glaring that Fayose has many things to hide, as we had on several occasions cried that he had diverted the bailout to his private pocket instead of using it to pay salaries as the main condition attached to the loan.” “He conceded that the House of Assembly had oversight functions over statutory allocations, explaining, however, that the bailout was a dedicated fund approved by the National Assembly for the Central Bank of Nigeria to disburse to states owing their workers.
The party spokesperson said the National Assembly has oversight functions on the CBN and other federal agencies, it follows, therefore, that it can monitor how the bailout is spent by asking questions. “In fact, one of the conditions attached to the disbursement of the bailout is that its disbursement by benefitting states shall be monitored by the CBN and this means the National Assembly can also monitor,” he explained.