A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state and former House of Representatives’ member, Pally Iriase has challenged Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki to account for how he spent the sum of N251 billion that accrued to the state since he assumed office in 2016.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Iriase, a Deputy Majority Whip in the 8th Assembly, described the Obaseki-led administration in the state as “reign of jackboots politics”.
He challenged the governor to itemize his achievements in the state in the last four years, instead of diverting the public’s attention with his “needless attacks” on the APC National chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The APC chieftain added that the said N250 billion had accrued to the state based on figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance. He said there’s “little or nothing” to show for it.
“However, instead of the Governor taking up the challenge of itemizing his performance across the state, his media minders and paid chorus singers went on the offensive and dared to insinuate that my position was not based on facts. A further attempt to shut me up was an infantile directive to their campaign group in Owan East LGA to announce, albeit ineffectively, my so called suspension from APC. I remain a highly reputed founding member and a respected leader of the party and a critical stakeholder in Edo State,” Iriase said.
“I have therefore decided to address the press today, in order to debunk the aforementioned insinuation by giving eye-popping facts about the finances of Edo State in the first three years of Obaseki’s government and hopefully rouse the very enlightened Edo people to begin to ask relevant questions about the state of affairs rather than accepting the wrong campaign agenda, based on a non-existent but contrived crisis, being set by the Government of Edo State.
“I have set out, in the appendix attached hereto, the net revenue that accrued to Godwin Obaseki’s administration, from Federation Allocation Account (FAAC) and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), month by month and year by year, in the last three years ending in November 2019. The figures were extracted from very reliable, incontrovertible and corroborated sources, namely National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and Federal Ministry of Finance.
“From the figures, it is clear that Edo State Government received over N251bn (Two hundred and fifty one Billion Naira) in three years to November 2019. This revenue is net amount after all deductions.
“This amount does not include receipts on account of Paris Club Refunds, the several Bail-Out funds from Federal Government and other receipts like grants, loans, counterpart funds from Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Conditional Grants Scheme of Sustainable Development Goals (CGS-SDG), Education Trust Fund, SEEFOR (concessionary loans from World bank, together with European Development Fund grants) etc. The figures do not also include 18 Local Governments Funds usually annexed by Edo State Government.
“Edo State has never had it so good in revenue receipts. In fact, since January 2018 to date, monthly revenues have been a low of over N7bn and a high of over N8bn each month.
“All we have on ground to show as the performance of the government are SEEFOR roads without drains, repainted primary schools aided by UBEC funds, NDDC intervention Projects, CGS-SDG Projects. Of course there is the payment of salaries, which is a major component of recurrent expenditures restricted in total, by policy to less than 30% of revenue.
“Against the backdrop of high earnings, Edo State Secondary Schools lack teachers and communities and individuals hire ad hoc teachers to keep the schools going, Health Care System is in limbo, without infrastructure and inadequate manpower, Construction of durable well drained roads we had become used to in the state has been stopped. In short the developmental Masterplan of which Godwin Obaseki was a key contributor in design has been abandoned. We the Edo people are now suffering from arrested development.
“Instead of the Governor to deliberately halt the ongoing plunder, he has resorted to jackboot methods to repress enlightened, development loving people of Edo State from voicing out their frustration and unhappiness with the goings on. This is why it is only from Obaseki and his hirelings that we hear of the contrived crisis in Edo State.”
The crisis rocking the party in the state took a turn for the worse on Monday when the state government summited a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), demanding the arrest and prosecution of Oshiomhole.