Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has budgeted the sum of N2 billion for the conduct of elections into the 18 local government areas of the state, Sahara Reporters can report.
The huge allocation for the local election was contained in the details of the 2018 budget of the state, as released by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.
Our correspondent exclusively obtained electronic copies of the budget document in Akure, the state capital.
The N2 billion was listed under the ‘new projects’ head in the section of Reform of Government and Governance (General) in the budget as signed into law by Governor Akeredolu.
Ondo’s 18 local government areas have a total of 302 political wards.
Mr. Akeredolu had on 22, December, 2017 presented N171, 267, 913, 000 billion 2018 budget proposal to the State House of Assembly, but the total sum was later raised to N181, 424, 540, 283 billion.
The State’s lawmakers also jacked up the budget by additional N10, 156, 627, 283 billion after they met at the committee level.
Sunday Olajide, the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance Appropriation had told journalists that the budget was jacked up because some of the funds appropriated for capital projects in 2017 were rolled into the 2018 budget.
Mr. Olajide confirmed that the sum of N2 billion was added to the 2018 budget specifically for the conduct of the local government’s elections.
Sahara Reporters recalled that shortly after assumption of office, the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government of Governor Akeredolu had dissolved the local councils and removed officials elected under the former PDP administration.
The Governor later appointed caretaker committees to oversee affairs of the Councils, pending organization of a substantive election.
Mr. Akeredolu had also promised to conduct a local government election in order to attract real development to the grassroots area.
Meanwhile, the sum of N10 million was additionally budgeted for the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission [ODIEC], the body that would conduct the local government election.
The breaks down of the allocation of the N10 million revealed that N2 million was budgeted for the purchase of small power generating sets for the 18 ODIEC offices and operations [Yamaha 2.8 HP product] at the cost of N100, 000 each, while the sum of N5.5 million is to be spent on another purchase of 50 KVA Perkin Generating set (Transport, Housing, and Installation).
Also, N1.8 million will be spent for the purchase of six Desktop computers accessories (brand system HP 1002 and UPS) at N300, 000 per unit.
Additionally, N700, 000 would be used to purchase 2 units of Digital Photocopier sharp machine (6020) at N350, 000 per each.
Governor Akeredolu had already constituted a 7 man-committee to head the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission.
The committee is saddled with the responsibility of conducting the Local Government Areas election.
Prof. Yomi Dinakin is the new head of ODIEC.
He is to be assisted by Soji Omowole, Oladele Akinyelure, Tunde Adeyeye, Stella Omotosho, Ake Ibrahim and Rotimi Olorunfemi.
Their names have been forwarded to the State House of Assembly for confirmation and it was learned that the nominees have been directed to appear before the House Committee on Selection and Screening.
Sahara Reporters authoritatively learned that the local government election may likely be conducted between the months of June and July 2018.