FG Denies Withholding Statutory Allocation To Ekiti State
The Ministry of Finance has refuted claims by the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, that it is withholding statutory allocation to the state.
The ministry described the claims as incorrect while stating that it has not withheld any statutory allocation due to Ekiti State, or any other state in Nigeria.
A statement issued on Thursday by the spokesman for the ministry, Salisu Dambatta, said that the Ekiti State government failed to comply with the necessary requirements for participating in the Budget Support Facility (BSF).
Mr Dambatta explained that BSF was a conditional loan programme to state governments introduced with the view to enhancing fiscal prudence.
He added that the programme was also designed particularly to enhance transparency and efficiency in public expenditure and payment of salaries.
The statement read: “This is not the first time of non-compliance by the Ekiti State Government.
“His (Fayose’s) administration defaulted in meeting the conditions specified and agreed upon by the 35 State Governments that are participating in the programme, as contained in the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP).
“The Ekiti State government was warned formally of its failure to comply with the full requirements via a letter on August 5, 2016, with reference number HMF/FMF/ASG/1/2016.
“The failure of Ekiti State Government to comply with the requirements and conditions for the Budget Support Facility (BSF) resulted in a letter sent to the Chief of Staff, to notify him of the suspension of BSF for Ekiti State and it was conveyed to Mr President before payment to the Ekiti State government was reinstated.
“The Ekiti State government and all the other participating states are aware of the consequence of failure to comply with the full conditions and it is not the first time that a state would be stopped from accessing the facility due to non-compliance.
“In the course of its normal duties, the Ministry of Finance has the right to query, suspend or withhold funds as part of the conditions of the Budget Support Facility.
“The process is for the Commissioner of Finance of any state or the governor having issues to contact the Federal Ministry of Finance and resolve the issues without resorting to the media, because such issues are of a financial nature and therefore, confidential; they are routinely resolved amicably by the parties involved.”
The Finance Ministry maintained that the Budget Support Facility is a conditional programme and that the Federal Government would not be intimidated in the discharge of its duties.