Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde on Monday set up a seven -man committee to investigate and probe the accounts and finances of the 33 Local Governments (LGs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.
The committee, which was given six weeks to submit its report has the mandate of the governor to look into the Council accounts from January 2018 to May 2019. It is to be chaired by retired Justice S. L Popoola.
Also inaugurated alongside the committee at an event at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s office were two separate visitation panels to Ibarapa Polytechnic Eruwa and another visitation panel to The Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki.
The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola, Chairman, State Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matter, Mr Babatunde Oduyoye and the PDP state Chairman, Alh Kunmi Mustapha among other dignitaries.
Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Makinde assures that the committee was not set up in anyway to go after the past administration, but a way of setting the stage for his government to take off and deliver dividends of democracy to the entire citizenry.
He said “The committee constituted to look into the accounts of the LGs and LCDAs from January 2018 to May 2019. This is highly needed at this time when there is the paucity of funds and also the need to re-strategize and device means to fund activities of the government.
“Let me reassure you that this government is not in anyway going after the past administration, we are only setting the stage for our government to take off and deliver dividends of democracy to the entire citizenry.
“In fact, I must say that the committee we are inaugurating today is pursuant to the Public Property and Funds Investigation and Recovery Panel law Cap 138 Vol 4 of the Oyo state Law, 2000. Section 3 of the law states thus;
“Whenever it shall appear to the government of the state that any person or body of persons in the custody of any property belonging to the government or any company in which the state government has any interest, however arising or is accountable to the government for any contract, entered into or purported to have entered into between him and the government or monies in which he may have collected on behalf or for the purpose of the government, the Governor may set up a panel to investigate or ascertain the identity and the extent of such property or funds and make an order for recovery of such property or fund.
“The seven-man committee is expected to investigate any dealings with the funds of Local Governments Council and Local Council Development Areas and other matters as they affect the local government and retrieve all monies traceable to any individual and impound any equipment traceable to any individual.
“Let me at this junction, admonish the members of the committee to carry out this task efficiently and effectively. The task ahead is not that of the governor, but that given to them by the entire citizens of Oyo state.
“You are all on this committee to serve the people of Oyo state. The LG is the government at the grassroot level and they are the closest to the people. It is therefore important to take into consideration all matters that affect our people as we have promised them, a sound service agenda.
“Let me promise straightaway, our unquantified support in this assignment as we are determined to get to the root of any form of mismanagement that the Councils have been subjected to this past years.
“We, therefore, give this committee six weeks to complete their assignment. On this note, I appreciate all members of the committee for accepting to serve in this capacity and I wish you all success in these endeavours.”
Earlier, while inaugurating the first female Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, the governor said he made a lot of introspection in making a decision to pick the new SSG out of the very eminently qualified personalities he had before him.
He said “In taking the decision to pick her out of the very eminently qualified personalities I had before me, I did a lot of introspection. There is this usual divide between politicians and technocrats.
“Some people would argue that the best person for the job is a politician, who understands the terrain as they put it. Others would say the engine room of government must be manned by a technocrat, who knows his or her onions.
“But I must say we need a focused government which will deliver on its terms. We need capacity and lots of efficiencies and we need a packed personality who in a way, encapsulates all of that.
“I must tell you that a number of questions agitated my mind as I moved to take the final decision. How do we marry all these qualities needed in one person? How do we satisfy the contending interests?”
“These are concerns that must be answered and when I finally zeroed in on Mrs Adeosun, I need not think twice to conclude that we have made the right choice.”
He charged the new SSG to live up to expectation, saying many men are lurking by the corner, adding that the appointment was not based on sentiment, feminism or other undue sentiments.