May 1, 2024

Ondo PDP tackles APC over N5bn for renovation of Day-Care centres in budget

Day-Care centres

—It’s mere error, regretted- Ondo govt

— Not an error but to swindle state, calls for proble- PDP

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The opposition People’s Democratic Party has tackled the ruling All Progressive Congress in Ondo, over N5 billion captured in this year’s appropriation law meant for the renovation of Day-Care Centres in the state.

Recall that an online media, had raised the alarm over the huge amount budgeted for the renovation of Day- Care centres in the state.

But in a swift response, the Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, Kennedy Peretei,in a statement, alleged that the it was the plan of the governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa government to swindle the people of th state.

Peretei, said that “The amount was to buy babycot walkers, toys and beddings. Another N18 billion loan was to be sourced from French Development Agency for provision of water in Akure and environs.

” In an attempt to put wool over the eyes of the people, the Ondo State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in a statement, claimed that the N5 billion was actually “meant to reflect the expected drawdown from the Nigerian For Women Project (World Bank supported).

“This is a regrettable printer’s interpolation error that occurred during the process of preparing the document for publication” and that corrective action is underway.

“What is regrettable about a document that went through several layers of screening and vetting before being forwarded to the Ondo State House of Assembly?

“At the Assembly, the House Committee on Appropriation invites government officials who take turns to defend same budget. Is it the case that, nobody spotted these regrettable errors?

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State Chapter wishes to state unequivocally that, it was the plan of the Aiyedatiwa government to swindle the people through the Daycare renovation project that was thwarted by the eagle-eyed media.

“Therefore, a mere apology is not enough. All those connected with this fraud must be brought to book.

“The Governor, as a matter of urgency must clear himself to dispel the allegations that, he is desperate to mop up funds from the Ondo State Treasury for the purposes bankrolling his election come November 16.

“Our party will not fold its hand and watch the APC and Aiyedatiwa fleece our meagre resources just for the political aspiration of one man, no matter how highly placed.

But , the state commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, in a swift response, appreciated the online media for “their diligence and bringing this error to our notice in time.

Igbasan described the error as “regrettable Printer’s interpolation error that occurred during the process of preparing the document for publication.

The commissioner added that “This error would have remained almost undetectable were it not for the eagle eye by online media because the Ondo State Budget System is e-based and the correct figures are reflected on the portal.

Igbasan said the ministry has taken full responsibility for the error noticed in the budget and has set in motion the machinery to have the error corrected.

According to him “The N5b provision was meant to reflect the expected drawdown from the Nigerian for Women Project (World Bank Supported) which had earlier been captured under the Capital Receipts of the document referred to by Saharareporters.

“The N18 Million reported on the Nigerian for Women Project is meant for the renovation of the Daycare Project.”

“We also took note that the report mentioned the sum of N18 Billion loan procured in just three months.

” This loan is an AFD facility for the reticulation of water from Owena Dam to Akure, Ile-Oluji, Idanre, Ifedore, and environs that will provide clean water for about 1.2m people.

“The project started in 2017 and the N18 Billion mentioned was part of what should have been released to Ondo State in 2023 but was delayed due to the stringent World Bank Process.

“The said loan has not been assessed as the procurement process according to Word Bank Standards is ongoing