Lagos state local Government Administrators up in arms as the state commissioner for local governments and community affairs schemes to extort 57million out of their August allocation through fictitious consultancy contract.
In a letter circulated to all the Sole Administrators dated Sept.2nd 2016 and signed by the Permanent Secretary Mr Paul Tunde Oluwabiyi on the order of the Commissioner,Mr Musiliu Folami, the Ministry instructed each Administrator to transfer One Million Naira each (57million Naira in total for 57 local governments in the state) as a payment for a publicity consultancy for a period of four months (May to August 2016) under taken by one HOA ventures on TVC (Television Continental).
Many of the Sole Administrators especially from the disadvantaged local governments express a great surprise because they were unaware when a commitment of such money was made on their behalf by the Ministry for an unknown HOA Ventures
They regard the extortion as height of insensitivity since the commissioner should have been aware of the great challenges they are facing in fulfilling their obligations to local Govts staff in the state and the expectations of the people in their communities in these times of poor federal allocation.
Unofficial sources in TV Continental express their surprise also as they did not enter into such contractual agreement with HOA ventures and neither was any program specifically produced for them on behalf of the local governments by the said HOA ventures.
The Sole administrators are agonizing on the safest way to bring this brazen fraud to the attention of the State Governor Akinwuni Ambode who apparently has zero tolerance for state official's constant attempt to tamper with and exploit local Govts allocations.
Governor Akinwuni Ambode who was a former Accountant General for local Govts in Lagos State had as soon as he was sworn in last year May strived to plug all loopholes been used by the Ministry of local governments officials to exploit resources allocated to the local governments hence all deductions from the source were cancelled and a new system whereby all contractors are paid directly by local governments instituted.
This measure has no doubt enhanced the financial health of the local Govts since the inception of his administration.
The sole administrators have therefore resulted to public outcry as an SOS to the state Governor to step in urgently and safe the 57 million about to be siphoned from their August allocations.
Ministry officials are piling pressures through phone calls on the administrators to pay up promptly on the orders of Commissioner Musiliu Folami to the account number supplied.