Edo State Government said the sum of N1.3 billion is currently being disbursed to all the traditional rulers in the state.
Chris Nehikhare, commissioner for Communication and Orientation, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Benin City.
Nehikhare said the funding to the traditional rulers increased as a result of the inclusion of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the excess crude components.
He said out of the N1.3billion the sum of N639,269,245.26million goes to the traditional rulers in Edo South Senatorial District, N377,642,592.6million to Edo North traditional rulers while N299,834,926.27million was for
Edo Central traditional rulers.
He added that out of the N639,269,245.26million to the Edo South senatorial district traditional rulers, the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) gets N319,634,622.63million.
He said the balance of N255,707,698.0million is distributed to the traditional councils in the seven local governments in the senatorial district.
The commissioner also added that the sum of N63,926,924.52million is reserved for any emergency in the councils.
He, however, restated the Edo State Government’s affirmation that the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, remains the uncontestable head of all the traditional rulers and chiefs in the state.
He, however, dispelled the rumour making the rounds that the state government has reduced as well as withheld the monthly subvention to the Benin monarch, noting that the rumour is being falsely peddled by mischief makers.
He said as a result of disagreement among some traditional rulers in the State, the traditional rulers agreed with the State Government to temporarily warehouse the fund in a central pool until the administrative issues were addressed.
The commissioner stated that the warehouse of the fund in a central pool was done between April 2023 and July 2023, and from July 2022 to July 2023.
“The Oba of Benin’s position as the permanent head of all the traditional rulers in Edo State remains sacrosanct in the State Government’s implementation of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979, especially as relates to section 45 of the edict.
“Recently, in the wake of some disagreement among some traditional rulers in the State, the traditional rulers agreed with the State Government to temporarily warehouse the fund in a central pool until the administrative issues were addressed. This was between April 2023 and July 2023.
“It is important to state here that against the false information that the fund was withheld from July 2022 to July 2023, all statutory payment was paid until April 2023, when it was agreed for the funds to be warehoused till date for the resolution of outstanding issues.
“These administrative issues have now been resolved by the Edo State Government and the palace delegation led by the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe.
“This pool of funds is now being disbursed to the various traditional rulers across the State as well as the Benin Traditional Council.
“We call on Edo people to be wary of misinformation and know that everything is being done according to the law and the accounts of the traditional rulers are being credited,” he said.
He further added that funding to the Benin palace has been shored up, and not in any way depleted as being peddled by the purveyors of falsehood.
The commissioner posited that with the full implementation of the law, the government expects members of local government traditional councils to interface with their subjects and promote security, intelligence gathering and community development within their domains.
He assured that the government would continue to work towards harmonious living in the state to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in its development strides.