Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has mandated the recently appointed Caretaker Chairmen in all the 33 local government areas in the state to release the sum of fifteen million naira (15,000,000.00) each as contribution for the construction of an ultra-modern secretariat complex for the Local Government Service Commission/Local Government Staff Pension Board.
Journalists gathered that the order for the contribution of the money by the Governor was conveyed to the caretakers via a memo signed and addressed to the council bosses by the permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Akin Funmilayo.
The memo which was dated 20th February, 2020, was obtained by DAILY POST on Saturday in Ibadan, the state capital.
According to the memo, the financial contribution from the Caretaker Chairmen, totalling about four hundred and ninety five million naira (N495m) is expected to be lodged into a special account designated as Local Government Service Commission’s Secretariat Complex Project, Account No. 6658133018 (Sort Code 214181721) with First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
The leaked memo titled “Construction Of An Ultra -Modern Secretariat Complex For The Local Government Service Commission/Local Government Staff Pension Board And The Attendant Financial Commitment From The Thirty-Three (33) Local Governments In The State’ stated that a separate account has been opened for the construction of the new complex in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the execution of the project.”
The leaked letter reads, “I wish to refer to the recent approval granted by His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde , the Executive Governor of Oyo state, for the execution of the above -named project and to crave your indulgence to release the sum of fifteen million naira (15,000,000.00) only approved by His Excellency as contribution by each of the thirty-three (33) Local Governments in the state towards the successful execution of the project.
“For the purpose of transparency and accountability in the execution of the project, the commission has opened a Special Account designated as Local Government Service Commission’s Secretariat Complex Project Account No. 6658133018 (Sort Code 214181721) with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) wherein the financial contributions from the Local Governments should be lodged”.
But, Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa while reacting, however, alleged that the memo was leaked by some persons, ostensibly with the aim of embarrassing the commission and the Governor of the state.
He said that Makinde only gave approval, but didn’t request LGs to donate funds.
Adisa, in his reaction, insisted that the governor only approved the construction of the building, with a view to serving as the headquarters of the grassroots system of government in the state.
“For the information of those who have constituted themselves as ‘nay-sayers,’ let it be placed on record that Governor Seyi Makinde only approved the construction of the building in question. He did not ask any local government to donate funds for unknown reasons or for the fight of imaginary security challenge.
“I have read the memo from the Local Government Service Commission of Oyo State, which was leaked by some persons, ostensibly with the aim of embarrassing the Commission and the Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde. Come to think of it, what’s the essence of it all? The Governor gave approval for the construction of the Headquarters of the Local Government Service Commission, which in practice, is to serve as the headquarters of the Grassroots system of government in the state.
“There are three tiers of government in the country; the Federal, the State and the Local Governments. The Federal Government has its Federal Secretariats in the FCT, Abuja, and in different State capitals, the 36 States equally have their Secretariats in the capital cities of the States. The Local Governments have secretariats in the council headquarters but are also supposed to have a Secretariat at the State capital to coordinate their activities through the Local Government Service Commission.
“Take note of the fact that the Local Government Service Commission services over 50,000 retired and service staff of local governments in the state. A state like Osun, which was excised from Old Oyo State, built its own Local Government Service Commission secretariat way back under the administration of Chief Bisi Akande at the start of the Fourth Republic. So why should the Commission in Oyo State continue to remain a tenant, when its services are in no way performed on Adhoc basis?”.