By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
LAGOS — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, met briefly with members of the state House of Assembly and expressed worry over the dwindling monthly federal allocation to various states as well as what he called Federal government’s uncoordinated fiscal policies.
Fashola, in an impromptu meeting with lawmakers at plenary, stressed that the situation called for urgent attention.
He declared that the National Economic Council meeting which ought to be held on monthly basis had not been held for six months.
According to him: “In almost 14 years of our democratic experience, the first time that commissioners for finance worked out of Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, in Abuja was in 2011.”
The governor also recalled that there was a similar occurrence last year, when commissioner of finance walked out during FAAC, when the account could not be reconciled.
While stressing on the decline in allocation, Fashola explained that some states had resorted to borrowing in an attempt to avoid running the government aground.
Fashola said some of the factors responsible for the decline include uncoordinated, discretionary application of the federal government on waiver, fiscal policy and also decline on oil production, pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
He explained that Lagos had been able to cushion the effect of the decline through revenue from tax payers and thus had managed not to engage in borrowing except for special intervention projects.
Responding, the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, commended the governor for; “coming to the House to brief us on what pertains to the future and even our today. We need a lot of time to be able to get to the root of the matter.”
Ikuforiji therefore, ruled that the Commissioner for Finance, Ayo Gbeleyi, his counterpart from Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, and the state Accountant General should appear before the House today for further deliberations.