From Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTA â€“ THE Ogun State House of Assembly has alleged that the Executive attempted to bribe it with N 1 Billion to facilitate the passage of its request for approval of a N100 billion Bond.
The House however said that the approval of the Bond request would only be obtained after an open debate with members of the executive on the propriety of the Bond.
Speaking at an Executive Session of the House after receiving the report of the Finance and Appropriation Committee, the Speaker; Mr. Tunji Egbetokun said â€œI have been personally offered goodies which I refused. I have been offered N12 million for a single meeting by one of their peacemakers.
â€œWe have been offered N1 billion but I have said that they should allow a single debate on all the issues in contention on the Bond and I can assure them that we will move straight from the venue of the debate to plenary and pass it if we are convinced. We should have an open debate. Let them sit with us and we will bow to superior argument, but in the absence of superior argument, the Executive should bowâ€
On the issue of Supplementary appropriation, the Speaker said that the House was rejecting the Bill saying that according to the findings of the Finance committee what was needed was a realignment of the Budget.
â€œIf they spend contrary to the Budget, it is misappropriation. All they are requesting for in the Supplementary Budget have been taken care of in the 2010 Budgetâ€
On the non release of the funds of the House, members agreed that they should do all that could be done legally and constitutionally to ensure the release of the funds even including going to Abuja.
Egbetokun explained that despite the non release of the fund of the House, Governor Daniel has spent almost N1 billion for his office as against the N700 million approved in the Budget.
Earlier presenting the report of the Finance Committee, Mr. Job Akintan explained that the Bond was broken down to 2010; N26 billion, 2011; N34 billion and 2012; N40 billion adding that all the projects listed to be financed or refinanced by the Bond have been given to the House before as to have been financed by Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue in the 2010 Budget.
He said â€œwe got debt cancellation of N26 Billion and just about three years after we are now saddled with debt of another N28 billion. And on this N28 billion, we are going to pay N48 billion in five years; so how much are we going to pay on N100 Billion Bond?
In her contribution, Mrs. Adijat Oladapo lamented that the Executive has refused to obey the law stipulating that all loans must be approved by the House of Assembly adding that even without the approval, the State funds was been deducted from source every month to the tune of N1.2 billion.
The Deputy Speaker; Mr. Remi Hazzan in his contribution said that the State Government has â€œbeen consistently inconsistent in the information been given out on the Bond issue at every occasion. They are desperately in need of the Bondâ€