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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
…….ONDO GOVT YET TO RECEIVE FULL N30BILLION BOND —COMMISSIONER.
The Ondo State House of Assembly has explained why he launch probe into how the 30 billion naira bond approved by the House was accessed and spent by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led executive arm of the government.
The Lawmakers had summoned the Commissioner for Finance to appear before the House at the resumption of plenary yesterday.
The Assembly requested information on how much of the amount has been accessed and breakdown of projects on which the fund was spent.
While addressing the House, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa thanked the Lawmakers for approving the raising of the bond.
Akinterinwa noted that only 14.8 billion naira has been accessed out of the initial 30 billion naira raised.
He informed the House that the remaining 14. 2 Billion naira will be accessed soon as the required documents have been perfected.
The Finance Commissioner noted that the initial sum of 14.8 Billion was spent on ongoing projects such as the building of teaching hospitals in Akure and Ondo, the construction of fly-over on Lagos- Benin express way in Ore and the Ikare road dualization project.
Answering questions on why the House rehabilitation was not captured in the first tranche of the fund the Commissioner who explained the technicality behind it pledged that the second tranche of 14.2 billion naira would capture the House rehabilitation project.
In another development, the House raised questions on the 4 billion naira reportedly lodged in a third generation bank without due process over 10 years ago.
This followed an audit query to that effect from the office of the Auditor General of Ondo State as verified and presented in the report of the House Committee on Public Acounts.
Chairman of the committee, Hon Edamisan Ademola while presenting the report at plenary sought to know details of all transactions on the bank account up to the date the account was discovered.
Responding, the Commissioner said he facilitated the discovery of the money stashed in a bank account for over ten years adding that the money has been ploughed into the revenue account of government.
He maintained that no consultant was hired in the course of retrieving the fund as being speculated, hence payment of any amount of money as consultancy charge does not arise.
Not satisfied with the explanation given,the House resolved to probe the financial transaction further, urging the finance ministry to furnish the Public Acounts Committee of the House with all necessary documents.
Speaking with Journalists after plenary, Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation Honourable Sunday Olajide ruled out any form of witch-hunting, adding that the steps taken by the House of Assembly was meant to entrench transparency and accountability into government business.
While welcoming Hon members from the recess, Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Oleyelogun Bamidele commended them for showing maximum commitment to their constitutional responsibility.
Oleyelogun specifically thanked them and other members of the public for the role they played towards stemming the spread of the COVID-19 and assuaging the plight of the vulnerable ones.
Also speaking to Journalists after plenary,Chairman House Committee on Information, Hon Olugbenga Omole noted that the Lawmakers were going about other legislatives assignments while on holiday.
He added that they would leave no stone unturned towards engaging in robust legislation that would bring succour to the people.
The sitting arrangement in the Chamber was done in conformity with the COVID-19 Social distancing policy in public gathering.