By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—Indication emerged, weekend, that the Federal Government will soon disburse the over $2 billion remaining in the Excess Crude Oil Account, ECA, to state governments to fund capital projects in the states.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, gave the indication over the weekend while featuring on a radio/television programme, Meet Your Governor, in Ado-Ekiti.
In a statement yesterday, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, said the step would be taken for the state governments to be able to embark on or complete some capital projects.
The governor, who added that Ekiti could get about N10 billion from the fund, said: “Nothing is going into the Excess Crude Oil Account again because oil is selling lower than the envisaged price in the international market. That has badly affected all of us.
He explained that the 2015 budget for Ekiti State was based on oil selling at $65 per barrel, but it sells for a little over $40 now.
“That has left our budget performing only in the area of Recurrent Expenditure. You know that I call a spade a spade. Ekiti is expecting about N10 billion when the ECA fund is shared. When it comes, I will tell everybody. I don’t hide things.
“The capital projects that we have embarked upon since we came on board are being executed because we are prudent, transparent and open, and also because we leverage on goodwill with corporate bodies,” he said.
Fayose said that considering the tough economic situation in the country, there was no way people could dodge paying taxes, rates and levies, adding that government would be crippled without finances.
He implored butchers to stop protesting the N1,000 levy imposed on them for the slaughtering of cows, warning that anybody caught killing cows in unauthorised places would be fined N50,000.
“It was during my first tenure that we built the abattoir and the place is not maintained. We have to maintain the facility for hygiene, provide where cattle are kept, provide water and yet they are complaining. The additional cost will be spread to others,” he stated.
On the reconstruction of Erekesan Market in Ado-Ekiti, the governor gave the assurance that owners of the former shops would be given top priority in the allocation of shops when the new market is built.
“We have done the accreditation of traders through the records with which we paid them compensation. So, there is no need to fear,” he added.