An ad-hoc committee of the Oyo State House of Assembly has indicted the sacked chairmen of local government areas and local council development areas of the state over duplication and inflation of projects, illegal withdrawals from the stabilisation account and fund allocation for projects that had little impact on the grassroots.
These allegations were brought to the fore when the chairman of the ad-hoc committee constituted to investigate activities of local government areas and local council development areas in the state from May 2018 to June 2019, Honourable Ademola Popoola, presented its report, at Tuesday’s plenary of the Assembly.
According to Popoola, the findings of the committee set up following a July 9, 2019 resolution of the Assembly pointed to maladministration by the chairmen, fund approvals in contravention to the provision of section 19 (2 and 3) of the local government law, 2001, “outrageous” expenditure on clearing and evacuation of refuse on weekly or monthly basis.
The report also described as an aberration the execution of local government projects by the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) on behalf of local governments, adding that the bulldozers, graders, excavators and other equipment procured by the immediate past administration for local governments were no longer functioning.
Instances of duplication of programmes were cited in Asabari LCDA where rehabilitation of roads appeared in 17 places of a document, while in Saki East local government, rehabilitation of community town hall, Oje Owode appeared in four places with different amounts ranging from N8.3million to N12.9million.
In Ogbomoso South local government, the construction of culverts, earthworks and asphaltic paving of Otamokun Road, Housing Scheme Road had different amounts of N95.2million and N107million expended on the project, while the rehabilitation of roads in Ibadan South East local government appeared in 18 places with different amount expended.
A case of projects appearing twice was also reported in Oyo East local government with rehabilitation of Iyana Bale to Jabata road twice recorded to have cost N29.6million.
The finding in Ibadan West LCDA was that the clearing of drains, debris and refuse appeared in 16 places each costing either N350,000 or N360,000, with the similar evacuation of waste appearing in eight places in Lagelu North LCDA costing amounts ranging from N420,000 to N500,000 each.
In Ibarapa East local government, drilling of boreholes at Giga Agbeniga in Oke Eruwa and at Olori village, Eruwa, each costing N450,000 was reported to have appeared in nine places, while in Oke’badan North LCDA, grading of roads were found to have appeared several times.
Up for further investigation for inflation or outrageous quotation are the widening of local government boundary in Itesiwaju local government estimated at N2.7milion, drilling of boreholes at different locations in Ibarapa East local government with different amounts ranging from N450,000 to N600,000.
The report also noted that further investigation was to be done into the rehabilitation of road at Aba Oje village in Lagelu local government for N4.8million and public enlightenment programme on topical issues done for N2.5million.
Local government areas fingered for spending from stabilisation account without due approval include Atisbo, Iwajowa, Oluyole, Oorelope, Oyo East, Ogbomoso South, Atiba, Ogo-Oluwa, Olorunsogo, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central, Lagelu, Surulere, Saki East, Ogbomoso North.
After various interventions by members, Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin said the investigation was not to witch-hunt but entrench good governance and remind the caretaker chairmen to live up to their duties and make the interest of the state their priorities.
He, however, set up another ad-hoc committee headed by Honourable Ademola Popoola and six other members to do a more thorough investigation into happenings in the local government within the period reviewed.