The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, has reacted to the raging controversy on a recently leaked memo, which indicated that the Governor mandated heads of local government administration to contribute N15 million each for the construction of an ultra-modern Local Government Service Commission Secretariat’s Complex.
Adisa stated that the Governor only approved the construction of the building, with a view to serving as the headquarters of the grassroots system of government in the state as against the request for donation of funds which the leaked memo suggests.
The spokesman, who reacted via his official Tweeter handle, @TaiwoAdisa13 with series of tweets, claimed that the said memo was leaked by some persons, ostensibly with the aim of embarrassing the Commission and the Governor of the state.
He said: “For the information of those who have constituted themselves as ‘nay-sayers,’ let it be placed on record that Governor Seyi Makinde only approved the construction of the building in question. He did not ask any local government to donate funds for unknown reasons or for the fight of imaginary security challenge.
“I have read the memo from the Local Government Service Commission of Oyo State, which was leaked by some persons, ostensibly with the aim of embarrassing the Commission and the Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde.
“Come to think of it, what’s the essence of it all? The Governor gave approval for the construction of the headquarters of the Local Government Service Commission, which in practice, is to serve as the headquarters of the grassroots system of government in the state.
“There are three tiers of government in the country; the Federal, the State and the Local Governments. The Federal Government has its Federal Secretariats in the FCT, Abuja, and in different State capitals, the 36 States equally have their Secretariats in the capital cities of the States.
“The local governments have secretariats in the council headquarters but are also supposed to have a Secretariat at the State capital to coordinate their activities through the Local Government Service Commission.”
Continuing, he stressed that the councils in question had met and proposed a certain amount as their contributions, only for the Governor to wade in and persuade them not to do more than N15 million, while the commission would have to source for any balance if that sum cannot complete the secretariat.
He bemoaned how, in the state, for more than 35 years, the Local Government Service Commission and the Local Government Pension Board have been tenants at the Water Corporation building, with the attendant shortage of office space for staff.
“Take note of the fact that the Local Government Service Commission services over 50,000 retired and service staff of local governments in the state. A state like Osun, which was excised from Old Oyo State, built its own Local Government Service Commission secretariat way back under the administration of Chief Bisi Akande at the start of the Fourth Republic.
“So why should the Commission in Oyo State continue to remain a tenant, when its services are in no way performed on adhoc basis?”, he added.
He, however, assured that the structure will be completed in a transparent process, adding that Governor Makinde, as an Apostle of accountability, will never preside over a system where the state’s resources would be frittered away.