The Federal Government on Thursday explained why the Ekiti State Government was yet to get its Budget Support Facility for January.
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, had on Wednesday stormed the Federal Ministry of Finance to demand for the money.
Fayose had requested to see the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, but was told she was attending the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The Governor told newsmen that workers in the state were groaning after the Christmas break due to the non-payment of the BSF.
He, however, said he was not sure if the non-payment of the facility was political or not.
While Fayose is of the Peoples Democratic Party, the government at the centre is controlled by the All Progressives Congress.
He put the amount involved at N1.1 billion
But reacting to the development, the Ministry of Finance said the non-payment of the BSF to Ekiti State was self-inflicted.
In a statement signed by the Director of Information of the Ministry, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, the Ministry said Ekiti State did not meet the conditions for the release of the fund.
The statement reads:
A claim by the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, that the Federal Ministry of Finance has withheld statutory allocation due to Ekiti State has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry categorically denies and states the claim as incorrect as the Ministry has not withheld any statutory allocation due to Ekiti State, or any other State in the country.
The fact is that, the Ekiti State Government failed to comply with the necessary requirements for participating in the Budget Support Facility (BSF), which is a Conditional Loan Programme to State Governments introduced with the view to enhancing fiscal prudence and designed particularly to enhance transparency, efficiency in public expenditure and payment of salaries.
This is not the first time of non-compliance by the Ekiti State Government. 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 process is for the Commissioner of Finance of any State or the Governor having issues to contact the Federal Ministry of Finance and resolve the issues without resorting to the media because such issues are of a financial nature and therefore, confidential; they are routinely resolved amicably by the parties involved.
The Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to restate very strongly that the Budget Support Facility is a conditional programme and the Federal Government would not be intimidated or threatened in the discharge of its duties.
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