Ogun Assembly Passes 2022-2024 MTEF,Asks EFCC To Probe Over N2bn Missing In OPIC - EDU-BIZNEWS

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Friday, September 17, 2021

Ogun Assembly Passes 2022-2024 MTEF,Asks EFCC To Probe Over N2bn Missing In OPIC


 

Ogun State House of Assembly has approved the State's 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF), barely a month after Governor Dapo Abiodun transmitted the document to it for consideration, to pave way for the preparation and presentation of the 2022 budget proposal

The House during its plenary in Abeokuta on Friday also asked the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC and other anti graft agencies to probe over N2billion missing fund of the Ogun State Property And Investment Corporation OPIC, during the tenure of the immediate past Managing Director of the company, Babajide Odusolu under the Ibikunle Amosun's administration between 2015 and 2019 

On the MTEM,the lawmakers unanimously approved the financial framework at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, following the presentation of the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation by its Chairman, Hon. Olakunle Sobunkanla. 

Sobunkanla, thereafter moved the motion for the adoption of the report, which was seconded by Hon. Solomon Osho and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote.

The MTEF report was later read and adopted sector by sector by the Assembly, consequently, the adoption of sectoral provisions comprising of the personnel, overhead and capital expenditures of the State’s different sectors, including the Legislature and Judiciary between 2021-2024. 

The Majority Leader, Hon. Yusuf Sheriff, later moved the motion for the passage of the House resolution titled: 'H.R. No.040/ OG/2021 Year 2022- 2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)', seconded by Hon. Olakunle Sobukanla and supported by the Whole House.

Speaker Oluomo therefter directed the Clerk of the House and Head of Legislative Sevices, Deji Adeyemo to convey the Assembly’s resolution to the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan for the preparation of the State year 2022 appropriation bill. 

It would be recalled that the lawmakers had engaged the Budget Commissioner over two weeks ago on the modalities for the 2022-2024 State Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), with a call for improved funds allocation to the legislative and judicial arms of government to allow for seamless operations of their financial autonomy. 

They harped on the need to ensure strict adherence to fiscal responsibility frameworks in planning for the rainy day.

They also sought the immediate assent of the State Audit Law, 2019 by the Governor to boost revenue from audit and aid accountability and transparency, 

The lawmakers stressed the need to ensure Compliance with budgetary provision, allocation and release of funds to the two arms, so as to enhance  the principles of separation of powers in line with the provisions of the nation’s constitution.

The Assembly later observed a minute silence in honour of one of its former members, who died last month Hon. Tunde Elemide, a Majority Leader during the 1979 - 1983 legislative session.

Meanwhile the State House of Assembly has passed a resolution, asking EFCC and Independent Corrupt PraΓ§tices and Other Related Offences ICPC to probe the over N2billion missing fund of OPIC  

The passage of resolution followed adoption of a  report by  its Committee Chairman on Public Accounts and Anti- Corruption, Hon.Musefiu Lamidi, which considered the 2015-2019 State Auditor-General’s report on the State Property and Investment Corporation, (OPIC) and therefore called on the financial crimes investigation agencies to investigate and recover into the State’s coffers

The unaccounted balance of N2,579,771,717.71 was discovered to have happened during Barr. Babajide Odusolu's tenure as the the Managing Director of the Corporation.

This was just as the Assembly also directed the former Managing Director to pay back the sum of N40m that was unaccounted for in Year 2019 into the State Government's purse within six months from Friday, September 17, 2021 

The Public Account Committee Chairman, had moved the motion for the adoption of the report before the resolution, seconded by Oludaisi Elemide and unanimously supported by other lawmakers through a voice vote at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Giving the breakdown of the funds that could not be accounted for, according to the report, “the Committee also observed that the Audit report revealed that in 2019 after generating an income (including subventions and grants) of N3,817,778,776.65 the Corporation expended a total of N1,197,182,579.27 and the balance is N2,620,596,187.38. The expected bank balance at the end of year 2018 was N685,194,035.01 and this brought the expected balance to the tune of N3,305,790,222.39 which was available to the Corporation. 

Considering the Year 2019 bank balance sheets submitted to the Committee, the sum of N726,018,504.68 was contained in the Bank balance sheets and this represents an unaccounted balance of N2,579,771,717.71”.

The Assembly equally recommended the reversal of all transactions including the 8.2 Hectares of land at Isheri sold in favour of Rainerhill Internationals Services Limited, a subsidiary of Pesianas Group in the twilight of the last administration at the undervalued price of N164M, stating that it was not done in the best interest of the State; hence all relevant title documents issued in favour of the aforementioned company in relation to the land was declared null and avoid, while the Corporation should retain the land ownership.

Also, the Committee declared that a retrospective legislative approval be secured for the expended unbudgeted sum of N881.5M, failure to which the Corporation’s erstwhile Managing Director, Odusolu was expected to refund same amount to government's coffers within a deadline of six months.

The Assembly added that the embargo placed on the whopping sum of N608, 226, 371.69 in 16 banks accounts be lifted to enable the Corporation have access to the funds for developmental projects and investments.  

It further directed that in line with the observation of the Committee, the proposed 5-star Hotel, Ikeja which had no physical existence, yet a whopping sum of N45, 025, 064:00 was expended to obtain title documents on the landed property and no satisfactory reason was given by the Corporation for such expenditure, holistic investigation should be carried out to reflect the company's true position.

In a related development, the Assembly has adopted the report of the Committee on Lands and Housing as presented by its Chairman, Damilola Soneye, with a recommendation that the Bureau of Lands and Survey should relocate the Irepodun plank and Building Materials Marketers Association of Orimerunmu in Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area to the 3.001hectres of land within 1.5k/m corridor acquisition along Siun/Owode Road identified by the Bureau.

The relocation, the Assembly noted became imperative as the delay in the relocation of the plant marketers association to another location had delayed the commencement of business activities of the plank sellers and others, this was in line with the resolution passed by the 6th legislature in the State.


 

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