Governors spend federal allocation on frivolities – Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola

Governor asks to generate their own revenue.

The Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday in Abuja said that many state governors spend their federal allocation on frivolities.

Speaking at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission’s Good Governance Forum, Mr. Aregbesola said that the Nigeria government lacked zeal for self-sufficiency. He advised the Federal and every State government to strive for financial autonomy.

“Many of our governments, at all levels, lack imagination and zeal. We all wait for the monthly federal allocation which in most cases is barely sufficient to pay salaries.

“Also, because the federation account allocation is more of an unearned rent, it is spent as freebies and this is one of the impetuses of corruption. Every state, including the Federal Government, should strive for financial autonomy and self-sufficiency,” Mr. Aregbesola said

The governor advised that the federal allocation should not be used for payment of salaries especially by the state government, but for specific development projects. To buttress his point, he revealed that his state, Osun, generates N1.6 billion every month with the hope of increasing it to N5 billion.

“When our administration came in, our internally generated revenue was a paltry N300 million. In less than one year, we doubled it to N600 million; by the grace of God today, it is N1.6 billion. Our target is to be able to earn N5 billion on our own every month,” he said.

Mr. Aregbesola said the state had at least N60 billion ongoing projects even as federal allocations for Osun State fell by 40 per cent.

While noting that corruption had eaten deep into the system, he admonished government officials to recognise the existence and plight of citizens by informing themselves on the need for good governance and accountability.

On youth employment, he said the state employed 20,000 youth in less than 100 days on the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES, after which the youth were absorbed into informal employment and self-employment in various vocations.

He also noted that 13 new primary schools, 14 middle schools and 12 high schools, costing N14.4 billion, were being built by his administration.

Noting that government that cannot feed its people has failed, the governor said that through the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme, OREAP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and other agencies, have been able to redirect the focus of Osun people to agriculture, especially food crop production. He also said that it was the combination of two factors, good leadership and quality followership, that would bring about the transformation so desired in Nigeria.