By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State on Monday denied allegations that Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu budgeted N795 million on gift items, donations and guests in 2017.
Its Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya, made the denial in a statement issued to journalists in Lagos.
Adesanya described the allegation as an attempt to rubbish the ongoing “transformation programmes’’ of the APC administration in the state.
“It is important to set the record straight. In 2016, the former administration spent N253 million on donations, while Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu reduced it to N160 million in the 2017 budget,’’ he said.
Adesanya alleged that the preparation of 2017 budget experienced some delays due to hiccups in the transition process and the level of “unimaginable rot’’ the APC government inherited.
“The budgetary provisions of huge amounts for gift items during festivals and hosting of state guests may be the handiwork of some unscrupulous elements in the civil service who are apparently part of the rot the APC-led administration inherited in the system.
“The good news is that times have changed and it will never be business as usual; they will be made to face the consequences of their actions and inactions when caught.
“Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu is a disciplined administrator who will not authorise such expenses.
“The party wishes to state in clear terms that the few issues observed in the budget have not eroded the merits and targets of the 2017 Appropriation which has provided adequate funding for tertiary and basic education and designed to sufficiently finance massive infrastructural development across the state.’’
Adesanya said that at the appropriate time, the state government would move funds appropriated for gifts and donations to other sectors.
He said that the state government was committed to offsetting the six-month outstanding salaries of civil servants inherited by the APC administration.
“The party also appreciates the support the APC administration has enjoyed thus far from the people, whilst counting on steadfast and continued support from the people of Ondo State,’’ Adesanya said.