Seized Allocation: Didn’t We Warn You?, FG Tells Fayose
The federal government has blamed the Ekiti state government for its failure to access a budget support facility (BSF) made available to 35 states.
Fayose had accused the current administration of deliberately withholding the January allocation of his state because of the grouse he has with the current administration.
But in a statement on Thursday, Salisu Dambatta, director of information at the ministry of finance, said Ekiti state government failed to comply with the requirements for participating in a conditional loan programme to state governments.
Dambatta said Ekiti was warned that failure to comply with the full requirements of the loan would lead to its exclusion.
“A claim by the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, that the federal ministry of finance has withheld statutory allocation due to Ekiti State has been brought to the attention of the ministry of finance,” Dambatta said.
“The ministry categorically denies and states the claim as incorrect as the ministry has not withheld any statutory allocation due to Ekiti state, or any other state in the country.
“The fact is that, the Ekiti state government failed to comply with the necessary requirements for participating in the Budget Support Facility (BSF), which is a conditional loan programme to state governments introduced with the view to enhancing fiscal prudence and designed particularly to enhance transparency, efficiency in public expenditure and payment of salaries.
“This is not the first time of non-compliance by the Ekiti state government. His administration defaulted in meeting the conditions specified and agreed upon by the 35 state governments that are participating in the programme as contained in the fiscal sustainability plan (FSP) and the Ekiti state government was warned formally of its failure to comply with the full requirements vide a letter on August 5, 2016, with reference number HMF/FMF/ASG/1/2016.”
Dambatta said the ministry informed President Muhammadu Buhari of Ekiti’s refusal to comply with the requirements, and that payment was reinstated.
The ministry said Fayose’s government was aware of the consequence of not following the laid down procedure.
The governor was also advised to resolve the issue at the ministry of finance, rather than engaging in media war.
“The failure of Ekiti state government to comply with the requirements and conditions for the budget support facility (BSF) resulted in a letter sent to the chief of staff to notify him of the suspension of BSF for Ekiti state and it was conveyed to Mr. President before payment to the Ekiti state government was reinstated.
“The Ekiti state government and all the other participating states are aware of the consequence of failure to comply with the full conditions and it is not the first time that a state would be stopped from accessing the Facility due to non-compliance. In the course of its normal duties, the ministry of finance has the right to query, suspend or withhold funds as part of the conditions of the budget support facility.
“The process is for the commissioner of finance of any state or the governor having issues to contact the federal ministry of finance and resolve the issues without resorting to the media because such issues are of a financial nature and therefore, confidential; they are routinely resolved amicably by the parties involved.
“The federal ministry of finance wishes to restate very strongly that the budget support facility is a conditional programme and the federal government would not be intimidated or threatened in the discharge of its duties.”