N30b bond: Ondo lawmakers grill finance commissioner

Lawmakers in the Ondo State House of Assembly on Wednesday queried the state government over the N30b bond approved by the lawmakers, urging the state government to furnish the House on how the money was spent.

The lawmakers had last week invited the State Commissioner for Finance,  Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, to appear before the House to explain how the money was spent by the executive arm.

Addressing the House, Akinterinwa explained that about N14.8b has been accessed by the state government out of the initial N30b bond raised and approved by the lawmakers.

He explained that the N14. 8b was spent on some of the ongoing projects in the state which include the building of teaching hospitals in Akure and Ondo, the construction of fly-over on Lagos- Benin expressway in Ore and the Ikare road dualization project.

He disclosed that the N14.2b will be accessed soon,  saying all the required documents had been perfected to ensure the release of the second tranche.

The finance commissioner who assured the lawmakers that the second tranche of the bond will accommodate the renovation of the state House of Assembly complex saying it was not captured in the first tranche.

Meanwhile, the House has ordered an investigation into a N4b found in a third-generation bank account and lodged without due process for over 10 years.

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.

While speaking, the Finance Commissioner disclosed that the account was discovered by him saying that money has been stashed in the bank account for over ten years.

He added 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 the payment of any amount of money as a consultancy charge does not arise.

The Spokesperson of the House, Hon. Olugbenga Omole, however, said the House was not satisfied with the explanation and resolved to probe the financial transaction, urging the finance ministry to furnish the Public Accounts Committee of the House with all necessary documents.

Speaking, the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation Hon.  Sunday Olajide, said the investigation should not be seen as witch-hunting, adding that the steps taken by the House of Assembly were meant to entrench transparency and accountability into government business.

 

 

 

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