• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FACT CHECK: Did Governor Fayemi budget N1.2bn for travelling? No!

Gov. Kayode-fayemi

CLAIM: Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, budgeted N1.2 billion for travelling.

CONCLUSION: The claim is FALSE.

EVIDENCE: Details of Ekiti State Government expenditure are contained in the state’s annual budgets. 

BusinessDay  sorted all expenses relating to transport and travelling in the state’s 2019 budget and found out a total sum of N998.1 billion  was budgeted in the spending plan, while N391.5 million was allocated for transport and travelling activities in the Government House and Protocol unit. Either of these figures is lower than the N1.2 billion claimed.

A media aide to former governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, on Monday, June 17, 2019, said the state’s current governor, Kayode Fayemi, has budgeted N1.2 billion for travelling.

Olayinka took to different social medial platforms to make the claim, which has so far sparked debate among internet, especially citizens of Ekiti State. The former governor’s spokesman posted a tweet  containing the claim on Twitter via his verified handle (@OlayinkaLere) at exactly 08:16 AM Nigerian time. A duplicate of the claim was also posted on his Facebook account at the said time.

“NEXT LEVEL: Fayemi budgets N1.2bn for travelling,” Olayinka said both on Twitter and Facebook.

 CONTEXT: Fayemi of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was sworn into office as Ekiti State governor on October 16, 2018 for the second term after defeating his closest rival, who is the immediate former Deputy Governor of the state and candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kolapo Olusola, and other candidates to emerge winner of the state’s July 14, 2018 governorship election.

Prior to the election, Fayemi was Nigeria’s substantive Minister of Mines and Steel Development during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office. Buhari’s first term agenda in office was tagged “Change”, while his second term was christened “Next Level”.

Olayinka did not specify where the travelling fund was allocated to, but only made reference to Fayemi as the focus. Calls put across to his mobile phones by BusinessDay to seek further clarifications did not get through, neither did he respond to questions emailed to him.

BusinessDay proceeded to conduct checks on Ekiti State 2019 Approved Budget which was obtained from the state government’s website to ascertain the accuracy of the claim.

The budget tagged “Budget of Restoration” was Fayemi’s first budget document since his return to power, and has a total estimate of N129.92 billion of which N72.7 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure, while N57.2 billion was earmarked for capital expenditure for the 2019 fiscal year.

Governor Fayemi presented the appropriation bill – budget – on December 21, 2018. The state’s House of Assembly passed the budget on January 17, 2019, and the spending plan was signed into law on January 17, 2019.

The state’s budget was divided into six (6) sections comprising personnel cost, other charges, consolidated revenue fund, transfers, expenditure IGR (tertiary institutions), and transfer to other funds. Detailed explanation of each of these divisions is available on the website.

Out of these splits, the “other charges” section, which details the expenditure on daily or periodic expenses of the state for the fiscal year, comprises the amount allocated for transport and travelling-related expenses.

According to the budget figures seen and analysed by BusinessDay, out of the 221 ministries, departments, agencies and units that enjoyed allocation for various expenses in the budget, only 189 were considered for “transport and travelling” in the 2019 budget.

The summation of all the funds allocated for “transport and travelling” under “other charges” was N998.1 billion with the Government House ad Protocol unit getting the highest share of N391.5 million, while the Public Private Partnership unit got the smallest portion of N90,000 for the 2019 fiscal year.

Further checks and analyses reveal that a total sum of N1.4 trillion was allocated for the same “transport and travelling” expenses in the 2018 budget signed by Fayose before the expiration of his tenure. However, out of this amount, a total sum of N1.01 trillion was eventually expended on “transport and travelling” in the 2018 fiscal year.

 

CONCLUSION: Since Ekiti State Government budgeted a total sum of N998.1 billion for “transport and travelling” expenses in the 2019 fiscal year, the claim by Olayinka is FALSE.

 

OLUWASEGUN OLAKOYENIKAN