N4.3b ‘secret cash’ appropriated for in 2019 budget, says commissioner
The Commissioner for finance in Ondo state, Wale Akinterinwa disclosed on Sunday that the N4.3 billion hidden in a bank account for over 10 years was appropriated for in the 2019 budget.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has intervened in the matter to prevent a face-off between the executive and the legislature over the issue.
In a statement released by finance commissioner, Akinterinwa said that there was nothing to hide about the fund discovered in 2018 and lies peddled by mischief makers that there was no appropriation for the money.
He said that the N4.3billion was in the 2019 Appropriation Bill passed by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the leadership of the APC in Ondo State had intervened in the matter and found out that some lawmakers, backed by external forces, raised what they termed as a false alarm over the fund.
A source said records available to the APC leadership showed that the 2019 appropriation confirmed the cash in the account.
The source said the Ondo APC leadership discovered that some lawmakers were sponsored by some government officials to raise issues about the money spent in the 2019 budget.
A lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the N4.3billion was not a new issue and had been moved to the state coffers in the budget in 2019.
The lawmaker said the money was contained in the Auditor-General report of 2018, adding that some individuals in the government gave the House Committee information about the discovered money but were not aware that the money had been appropriated in the 2019 budget.
According to the lawmaker, “we are still digging and we want to know some things about the money. Mimiko ought to have made a statement since information available showed it was deposited during Agagu’s administration.
It was not the House that discovered the fund, but was contained in the Auditor-General report of 2018. Committees were put in place not more than six months ago.
“Emerging facts showed it was captured in the 2019 Budget or 2018 Supplementary Budget.
“The money was properly appropriated for in 2019. It was passed by the past Assembly. External forces are trying to hype the issues for political gains.”
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