Rotimi Akeredolu
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Chief Press Secretary Clarifies Governor Akeredolu’s Alleged Unauthorized Spending, Pledges Normalization Through Budget Virement

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Chief Press Secretary Clarifies Governor Akeredolu’s Alleged Unauthorized Spending, Pledges Normalization Through Budget Virement

Chief Press Secretary Clarifies…..

Olatunde Olabode Richard, the Chief Press Secretary to Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has responded to concerns about the governor’s reported spending of over N7.3 billion for “contingency” between July and September 2023 without legislative approval. Richard defended the actions, stating that the spending signifies nothing and assured that the Akeredolu-led government would normalize the situation during budget virement.

According to Richard, “Contingency vote is often money whose nature and amount cannot be determined when the budget is prepared but may be absolutely necessary during the year. Example is the palliative spending that was not envisaged as of last year when the budget was crafted and it has to be charged somewhere before anyone could touch it.”

He further explained that this type of spending, constituting the bulk of the reported expenses, would be normalized during budget virement, emphasizing that the concerns raised are a result of ignorance.

Charityreporters had previously reported on Governor Akeredolu’s approval of over N7.3 billion for “contingency” during a period when he was on medical leave in Germany. The report highlighted that the spending exceeded the budget ceiling approved by the Ondo State House of Assembly, prompting concerns about the legality and appropriateness of the expenditures.

The budget performance report titled “Ondo State Third Quarter (July – September) 2023 Budget Performance” revealed that N7,363,452,119.70 was spent between July and September 2023 on “contingency.” A lawmaker, speaking anonymously, had expressed the view that Governor Akeredolu may have committed impeachable offenses by spending without the approval of the State Assembly, deeming it extra-budgetary and illegal.

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Akeredolu’s Alleged Unauthorized Spending Raises Impeachment Concerns

Governor Akeredolu, who returned to Nigeria from a three-month medical leave in September, has been governing from his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State. The health concerns and spending controversies present a challenging situation for the Ondo State government, with transparency, accountability, and adherence to due process becoming focal points of public discourse. The promise of normalization through budget virement aims to address the concerns raised about the reported unauthorized spending.

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