Makinde presents 2020 budget Wednesday

• As Assembly approves establishment of Oyo anti-corruption agency

Oyo state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, will on Wednesday, present the 2020 appropriation bill on the floor of the state House of Assembly, at 11 am.

Speaker of the Assembly, Honorable Adebo Ogundoyin disclosed this at Tuesday’s plenary.

In line with the current administration’s agenda, the appropriation bill is expected to show its extent of focus on Security, Education, Health and expansion of the economy.

More than 10 per cent of the budget will be allocated to education, just as health and the public works departments will also get an increased percentage.

Wednesday’s presentation had been preceded with town hall meetings where residents of the state asked the Makinde government to allocate appreciable resources to providing motorable roads, rehabilitating dilapidated schools infrastructure, equipping primary health centres and ensuring effective waste management.

Meanwhile, immediate past Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly, Dr Musah Abdulwasi has been nominated by Makinde to head the state House of Assembly Service Commission.

Other nominees for the commission are Mr Ojoawo Adewuyi, Mrs Eyinade Ladoye, Mr Adekunle Iyanda and Mr Ogundoke Hassan.

Tuesday’s plenary also witnessed the passage into law of the state anti-corruption agency bill, 2019.

With the law, the agency has the power to receive and investigate any allegation of corrupt practices against any person and refer the matter to the Attorney General of the state; investigate and refer to the Attorney General any allegation improper or non-performance of any government contract for necessary action.

Also, the agency has the power to monitor and investigate all cases of alleged corrupt practices in the state and recommend an appropriate remedy to any authority or office.

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The functions of the agency also include mediating disputes involving members of the public, supporting the promotion and protection of rights of citizens of the state.

However, the agency is limited to investigate any matter pending before the state House of Assembly or the executive council of the state, any matter pending before any court of law.

With the law, any person who asks for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or for any other person on account of anything done in discharge of official duties is guilty of an offence of official corruption and shall be liable to imprisonment of three years.

The law further stipulates that any person who gives, confers or procures any property of any kind to or for a public officer is guilty of an offence of official corruption and shall on conviction be sentenced to two years imprisonment and forfeit to the state government any such benefit, money or property.

Also, any person who being an officer charged with the receipt, custody of any part of the state or local government’s revenue or property, who knowingly uses any part of the revenue or furnishes any false statement in respect of money entrusted in his/her care is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a period not less than two years.

The law also states that any public servant assisting or using influence in the promotion, execution or procurement of any contract shall be liable to imprisonment for one year and a refund of the current price of the property or a fine, not less than N100,000.

Under the law, the Attorney General of the state shall initiate prosecution for offended while the High Court and Magistrate Court shall have jurisdiction of offences.

For those who fail to appear before the agency, Section 36 of the law empowers the agency to ask the police or other law enforcement agents to arrest and detain, even forcibly enter offices if necessary.

Section 41 of the law states that anyone who refuses officer access to his/her premises shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for six months or a fine of N50,000.

Speaker of the Assembly, Ogundoyin said the law will help curb corruption, entrench discipline, transparency, accountability, probity in the private and public sector.

Ogundoyin pointed out that the Oyo anti-corruption agency would complement the strides of existing federal anti-graft agencies like EFCC and ICPC.

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