Ondo Assembly Queries Finance Commissioner over Utilisation of N34bn

Wale Akinterinwa

James Sowole in Akure

The Ondo State House of Assembly has quizzed the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, on how the N30 billion bond approved by the Assembly was accessed and spent by the executive arm.

Also, the Assembly raised questions on the N4 billion reportedly lodged in a third generation bank without due process over 10 years ago.

The state legislative House at its resumed hearing, requested for information on how much of the bond amount has been accessed as well as the breakdown of projects on which the fund was spent.

While addressing the Assembly, the Commissioner for Finance noted that only 14.8 billion has been accessed out of the initial N30 billion raised.

He said the remaining N14. 2 billion would be accessed soon as the required documents have been perfected.

The commissioner noted that the accessed N14.8 billion was spent on ongoing projects such as the building of teaching hospitals in Akure and Ondo; the construction of fly-over on Lagos- Benin expressway in Ore and the Ikare road dualisation project.

Answering questions on why the Assembly rehabilitation was not captured in the first tranche of the fund, the commissioner, who explained the technicality behind it, pledged that the second tranche of N14.2 billion would capture the Assembly rehabilitation project.

The inquiry on the lodged N4 billion 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 Assembly Committee on Public Accounts.

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 responding, the commissioner said he facilitated the discovery of the money stashed in a bank account for over 10 years, adding that the money has been ploughed into the revenue account of the 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 consultancy charge does not arise.

Not satisfied with the explanation given, the Assembly resolved to probe the financial transaction further, urging the finance ministry to furnish the Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly with all necessary documents.