Following dwindling resources from the federation account to Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has sought the approval of the state House of Assembly to withdraw N1.25 billion from the Omoluabi Conservation Fund to assist government in the provision of infrastructure in the state.
He sought the approval through a letter to the Assembly, dated November 27, 2015, which was read by the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam, at the plenary, yesterday.
Omoluabi Conservation Fund Law 2012, sponsored by the executive, was passed by the Assembly as a way of bailing the state out of emergency whenever such occured.
According to the Speaker, the letter read: “The law stipulates that an amount not exceeding 50 per cent of the outstanding balance in the fund can be withdrawn upon the approval of the Assembly to address such emergency.
“You are quite aware that for some months now, the state government has been having serious financial challenges which have been preventing it from meeting some of its basic functions.
“This development is largely attributable to the national economic downturn aggravated by the continuous decline in revenue accrueable to the state from the Federation Account in the last two years.
“The insufficient fund has made it difficult for government to meet the basic needs of the people, especially the provision of infrastructure to enhance physical development of the state which is certainly an emergency that is not palatable.
“It is against this background that I seek the approval of the Honourable House of Assembly to withdraw the sum of N1.25 billion being 50 per cent of the N2.5 billion in the Osun Omoluabi Conservation Fund to assist government in the provision of infrastructure in the state.”
Subsequently, the Speaker directed that the letter be forwarded to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for proper consideration.
He directed that the committee should refer to the law, ascertain whether the request was in compliance with the law and report back to the house within one week, with a view to giving the request the appropriate attention it deserves.
Meanwhile, the Assembly concluded the consideration of the Land Use Charge Bill at the committee of the whole, as the Speaker directed the Clerk at Table to produce the clean copy of the bill by next week Tuesday for the final passage.