The Federal Government on Thursday said the January allocation from
the Budget Support Facility (BSF) to Ekiti State was suspended because
the state failed to comply with the basic requirements for
participating in the facility.
A statement by the Ministry of Finance signed by the Director of
Information, Salisu Dambata, said the BSF is a conditional loan
programme to state governments introduced to enhance fiscal prudence,
transparency, efficiency in public expenditure and payment of
salaries.
The ministry said the Ekiti government failed to comply with the
required conditions for the payment, and was not the first state to be
denied the funds on such grounds.
It denied the claim that the ministry of finance withheld any
statutory allocation due to Ekiti State, or any other state in the
country.
“This is not the first time of non-compliance by the Ekiti State
Government,” the statement read.
“His administration defaulted in meeting the conditions specified and
agreed upon by the 35 state governments that are participating in the
programme as contained in the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) and the
Ekiti State Government was warned formally of its failure to comply
with the full requirements vide a letter on August 5, 2016, with
reference number HMF/FMF/ASG/1/2016.
“The failure of Ekiti State Government to comply with the requirements
and conditions for the Budget Support Facility (BSF) resulted in a
letter sent to the chief of staff to notify him of the suspension of
BSF for Ekiti State and it was conveyed to Mr. President before
payment to the Ekiti State Government was reinstated.
“The Ekiti State Government and all the other participating states are
aware of the consequence of failure to comply with the full conditions
and it is not the first time that a state would be stopped from
accessing the facility due to non-compliance.
“In the course of its normal duties, the ministry of finance has the
right to query, suspend or withhold funds as part of the conditions of
the Budget Support Facility.”
The Ekiti government described the explanation as an afterthought
meant to mislead the public.
he Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New
Media, Lere Olayinka, said the state signed up for N14.4 billion and
had received funds monthly in the last seven months from the ministry
of finance.
“So when did they realise that Ekiti State did not meet the
conditions? Mr. Olayinka asked. “Or did they send the allocations in
the last seven months in error?”
He also argued that there was no warning letter or notification from
the ministry of finance before the governor raised the alarm, else
there would have been no need for the governor to write a letter to
the ministry demanding explanations on the non-release of the funds.
“If they sent any letter, maybe they sent it today, because the
governor was there yesterday and before then no one knew the reasons
why the funds were not released,” Mr. Olayinka said.
“As I am talking to you, we have not received any letter from the
ministry, if they sent any letter, maybe they sent it today. This
explanation is an afterthought.”
Mr. Olayinka also said he was aware that the funds was earlier sent to
the Central Bank of Nigeria along those of other states, but was later
recalled and the name of Ekiti State removed from the list of 35
states.

It will be recalled that the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose,
had on Tuesday accused the Federal Ministry of Finance of withholding
the state’s statutory allocation for January for political reasons.
He alleged that the ministry of finance was victimizing the people of
Ekiti State for his criticism of the policies of the federal
government.

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