Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State says he has never spent funds belonging to the 20 local government councils in the State.
Instead, Gov Abiodun reechoed that his administration had been supporting the local governments with funds to allow them meet their expenses.
Abiodun said the clarification became necessary to dispel the rumour in some quarters that his administration was tampering with funds allocated to the councils by the Federal Government, monthly.
The Governor spoke while meeting with the 20 local government Chairmen, at his Oke-Mosan office in Abeokuta, on Thursday.
According to him, his administration had been making up for the shortfalls from the federal allocation to the councils in order to allow them pay staff salaries, pensions and to execute developmental projects.
While saying he would keep to his promise, the Governor assured that the new council Chairmen would be given free hands to run the affairs of their respective local governments, saying they are the closest to the masses.
“I will keep to my campaign promises and allow local governments free hand to run their affairs. If they are empowered, they can complement us as they are the closest to the people and can identify their problems and needs,”
As the tier of government that can feel the pulse of the people better than the State government, the Governor assured of his administration’s support for them to fulfill constitutional obligations, adding that they would be relied on to achieve his objectives.
“You are not just a salary paying institution, you are a tier of government and a partner in progress. We will empower you to function to the fullest,”
The Governor stressed.
He also charged them to stamp out kidnappers, cultists, robbers and other criminals from their areas to ensure a secure Ogun State.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, appealed to Gov Abiodun to give grants to the new council Chairmen, recalling that about 146 projects were executed by the last caretaker Chairmen.