The Edo House of Assembly on Friday approved Governor Godwin Obaseki’s request to allow the federal government deduct Edo’s statutory share of $1 billion security fund from the excess crude account.
The approval followed a letter from the governor requesting the assembly to authorise the federal government to deduct the money to procure military equipment and tackle other security challenges.
Leading the debate on the request, Folly Ogedengbe (APC-Owan East) said the fund was to allow the federal government procure military equipment to tackle insecurity in the country.
Other lawmakers supported the request, noting that insurgency was no longer restricted to southern Nigeria but was spreading fast to other parts of the country.
Monday Ehighalua (PDP-Esan West), however, objected to the approval of the request, saying the fund should rather be used to develop the state.
”Even if the federal government takes more than the said sum to buy military equipment to tackle insurgency, it will be a welcome development.
”But my worry is why is the federal government transferring the burden to the states?
“The federal allocation is bigger than that of all the states. They should take from their allocation and leave the state alone,” he said
According to him, some states cannot even pay workers’ salaries.
“I am of the opinion that since the funds can be accessed, it should be used to develop the state,” he said.
The Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto, thereafter directed that clean copies of the resolution be sent to the governor for immediate action.
The Assembly passed the resolution in an emergency sitting called by the speaker.
The house had on May 30 adjourned sitting until June 25.
Meanwhile, the 18 Local Governments in Edo received N2.97 billion from the Federation Account for the month of April, the state Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) said on Friday
Jenkins Osunde, Chairman, Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Edo chapter, disclosed this to journalists after the state JAAC meeting presided over by Gov. Godwin Obaseki at Government House, Benin.
Giving a breakdown of the amount, Mr Osunde said that N1.11 billion was for salaries of primary school teachers in the local government areas while deductions for pensions amounted to N100 million.
The Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area said that N264 million was set aside as Local Government Pensions Fund.
He stated that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from the 18 councils increased from N187 million in April to N206 million in May.
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