27 March 2014, Abuja – The Delta State Government has debunked allegations that it mismanaged N9 billion excess crude funds released to the state in December 2012.
Reacting to a purported press briefing by Hon. Dino Melaye, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ovuozorie Macaulay, in a statement in Asaba, yesterday, said in spending the money, due process was duly followed and every fund accounted for, urging Melaye to “properly investigate whatever information they get before coming out with allegations that are frivolous.”
The full text of the SSG’s statement read: “The attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to the press briefing by Dino Melaye alleging mismanagement of funds, specifically the N9billion excess crude funds released to the state in December 2012.
“It would be recalled that in the last two years, the fund allocation from the federation has been dwindling. States have therefore been requesting for the release of part of the excess crude fund to deal with outstanding commitments.
“The excess crude referred to by Dino Melaye came in two tranches of N1,090,380,894.61 and N8,348,064,864.52 on December 10, 2012.
“Meanwhile the sum of N22,677,938,653.12 was being owed contractors and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) mainly for capital projects. The N9billion was therefore used to offset part of this commitment.
“Contrary to the impression given by Dino Melaye that the money was spent in less than three days, payment commenced in mid- December, 2012 and closed at the end of January, 2013 a period of over six weeks.
All the payments were duly budgeted for and due process duly followed.
“It must be noted that the Delta State Government uses the ICT based SAP financial management system which has ensured transparency in our payment system.
“It is on record that many people have complained of the strict payment system by the Delta State Government. This is to ensure proper record keeping and accountability.
“It is well known that the state government has been pursuing the Delta Beyond Oil agenda to ensure that in future the state does not have to depend on federal allocation alone for survival.
“The Commissioner for Finance will be addressing the press in the next few days to give details of the financial management system.
“We urge Melaye to properly investigate whatever information they get before coming out with allegations that are frivolous.”
– This Day