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OGUN BOND: DANIEL DECLINES TO RELEASE ASSEMBLY'S FUNDS

By NBF NEWS
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Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Da
A solution to the complaints of the Ogun State House of Assembly that it was being starved of funds may be far from sight as Governor Gbenga Daniel has asked the state lawmakers to revoke the contentious resolution that barred all financial institutions from extending credit facilities to the state.

The governor, who addressed the legislators in Abeokuta at a parliamentary caucus meeting, declared that the state had found it difficult to shoulder the burden of meeting all its financial obligations as a result of the resolution, popularly known as Resolution 167.

The House had in 2009 passed the resolution as the state government pressed to raise a N50bn lifeline through the issuance of bond, on the premise that the fund was being raised without its (House) approval or input.

Resolution 167 then barred all financial institutions from extending credit facilities to the state government, warning that organisations which flouted the directive, published in a national newspaper, would have themselves to blame.

The Speaker of the House had in an interview with journalists a week ago, alleged that the government had not released money for the running of the Assembly since February.

Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that the House might continue to run without its N15m monthly allocations until the lawmakers were ready to rescind their tough stance on the plan of the state to raise money through bond.

A competent source, who spoke with our correspondent on Saturday, explained that Daniel had told the House members at the parliamentary caucus meeting that if they wanted to continue to receive their allocation, which had not been released for three months, the Assembly should vacate its order in Resolution 167.

The source, who craved anonymity, said, 'The House had not received its allocation for three months but the governor said there was no other reason for that but because the state had no money to pay the Assembly's allocation.

'To solve the problem, the governor said the House should vacate the directive in Resolution 167, which he said had hindered banks and others from giving loans or extending credit facilities to the state.'

It was learnt that Daniel told the legislators that the state paid about N400m every month to its creditors, wondering how the lawmakers expected the state to survive without taking the controversial bond.

Also speaking, the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, said he was not at the parliamentary caucus meeting.

Speaking on the telephone, he said, 'As the name implies, the meeting was essentially between the lawmakers and the governor. Last year, when this type of meeting took place, we were not allowed to attend; not even an aide of the governor was at the meeting. So, I'm not aware of what could have transpired.'

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawomise, who returned our correspondent's call, said he was at a meeting with the governor.

But the Speaker confirmed that the lawmakers met the governor on Wednesday, saying he would prefer not to make comments on the issues discussed.

He, however, explained that the governor's refusal to release allocations to the House for the past three months was discussed.

One of the lawmakers, who spoke in confidence, claimed that the governor told the lawmakers that the state was insolvent.