The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has said Governor Ayodele Fayose’s opposition to the Treasury Single Account policy of the Federal Government is a deliberate ploy to conceal fraud.
The party noted that Fayose was the only governor opposed to the policy of the Federal Government when all other governors had embraced it to save their states from fraudulent practices among government officials.
Fayose had on Friday told the Federal Government to perish the thought of imposing the TSA on states, saying it was not in the position to counsel or force any state to accept policies that were not working for those that introduced them.
In a press statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, he advised the Federal Government to rather face the dwindling economy of the country instead of going about grandstanding on a TSA policy that was already tainted with fraud.
He likened the Federal Government to a blind man trying to lead people who can see clearly.
But the Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement on Monday said the governor’s aversion for accountability in financial matters showed he had an ulterior motive to defraud the state.
“TSA is aimed at ensuring that all government earnings are paid into a single account to ensure accountability and check fraud unlike in the past where several governments’ accounts were scattered in many banks to perpetrate frauds.
“For a governor who describes himself as a friend of the poor to oppose a policy that will make the same poor people enjoy the benefits of transparent governance is the height of irresponsibility and a confirmation of allegations of fraud against the governor in his handling of financial issues.
“We can now see the reason why the governor has opened several channels of revenue collections to be paid into several phoney accounts that revenue collection officers are describing as opaque.”
Olatunbosun alleged that the governor kept a secret account not known to the state treasury into which taxes and fines “imposed on Ekiti people are paid, notably fines on traffic offences and suffocating taxes he imposed on poor traders that he deceived with abundance of life during campaigns.
“After sacking thousands of workers in youth empowerment scheme and permanent secretaries; after cutting monarchs’ and workers’ allowances and running grants and after stopping funds for social security scheme for the elderly and security agencies but increasing his personal monthly security vote from N100m to N250, Fayose hired less than 200 political appointees as against over 800 appointees by Governor Kayode Fayemi, yet he tells Ekiti people that he pays the same N2.6 billion that Fayemi paid as salaries and allowances to workers monthly.”
Olatunbosun added that the reason for Fayose’s opposition to TSA was to hide these details to perpetrate fraud, noting that there was no way the governor could have been paying the same bill Fayemi paid as monthly wages to workers.
“Fayose has no explanation to make to Ekiti people on how he spent N22b refund on federal road projects, the N2b ecological fund, several billions of naira statutory allocations to the state and LGAs and N9.1 bailout cash, among others.
“Fayose has not said anything about the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, which he has embarked upon with an aggressive drive thereby bringing untold hardship on the citizens. What of the school fees he introduced in primary and secondary schools, including high fees in tertiary institutions?” he queried.
He alleged that the government ran several fictitious accounts on the alleged instructions of the governor, saying this was a practice that must not go unchallenged by the people who would be ultimate beneficiaries of TSA policy being promoted by the Federal Government.
He urged all Ekiti citizens home and abroad to call the governor to order to stop his “unnecessary belligerent” attitude to the Federal Government simply because he belonged to the opposition.
“Fayose’s attitude will cause dire consequences on the hapless citizens of the state, as corporate organisations planning to invest in the state will think twice on the governor bitterly averse to transparency while at the same time unleashing taxes that cannot be accounted for.”
The party called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to beam their searchlights on Ekiti State’s various fictitious accounts that Fayose prefered to a single accounting system that checks frauds.
“We are confident that the findings of these agencies will reveal the reason why Fayose is opposed to the TSA policy,” Olatunbosun added.