Ondo lawmakers shun Mimiko’s budget presentation

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Gov. Olusegun Mimiko

Seventeen of the 26 members of the Ondo State House of Assembly on Tuesday, boycotted the presentation of the state’s 2014 Appropriation Bill by the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko.

It was gathered that the lawmakers who shunned the presentation were aggrieved over “non-consultation with the Assembly on the budget presentation and poor implementation of the 2013 budget”.The presentation was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Dare Emiola as the the Speaker, Samuel Adesina, is ill.

The Majority Leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu was present but other principal officers, like the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Fidelis Akinwolemiwa (Ondo East); his Vice, Akindele Adeniyi (Akure South); Chairman, House Committee on Information, Oyebo Aladetan (Ilaje I) and Minority Leader Akpoebi Lubi, were absent.

Though Akinsoyinu blamed the poor turnout on official assignments, those absent said they were not on any official assignment, stressing that said they shunned the sitting because they were not properly informed of the presentation.

One of the lawmakers said: “We are not happy with the level of development in Ondo State. Projects have been moving at a snail’s pace and the governor has failed this year.”

He said on December 24, the lawmakers rejected a re-ordering budget of N1.5 billion sent to the House by the governor.

Describing the budget presentation as “illegal”, Lubi said the governor needs two-third majority of the House before he can present a budget.

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ade Adetimehin, praised the lawmakers for “standing against illegality” and for being alive to their duties.

Adetimehin alleged that Mimiko had been mismanaging the state’s funds and urged the lawmakers to impeach him.

Former Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Adegboyega Adedipe challenged Mimiko to tell the people what he achieved with last year’s budget, adding: “We are not surprised that the implementation of the 2013 budget was scored 30 per cent by the lawmakers because we are aware that Mimiko had been mismanaging the state’s funds.

“People in the riverside areas are crying because they have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy, even though President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, are their kinsmen. It is well known that Mimiko is very close to Jonathan, so we urge the President to visit the riverside areas of Ondo State and see how the people are suffering.”

In the proposed budget, tagged: “Caring Heart Phase Five”, N69.681 billion was earmarked for recurrent expenditure and N92.319 billion for capital expenditure.

Mimiko said the budget would be financed with the N43 billion Statutory Allocation; N15 billion Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR); N10 billion Value Added Tax (VAT); N7 billion roll over fund; N20 billion Mineral Derivation Fund and N5 billion from the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P), among others.

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