The 10 days proposed trip for the 68 Osun State Local Government Chairmen met a brick wall few days to its scheduled commencement as the State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola through his chief press secretary, Adeniyi Adesina announced the cancelation of the trip which many believe was an Eldorado getaway for his local government chairmen especially at a time when the state government is alleged to be struggling to stabilize the state’s economy while also trying to pay backlogs of workers salaries.
In a circular with reference number CM/724 /160 dated 3rd May, 2019 and signed by W.B Ojulari for the Coordinating Director, SecretReporters gathered that an approval was made by the State Government to enable the chairmen representing the 68 Local Government Council in the state embark on an all-expense paid trip to the United Arab Emirate (UAE) In the month of June 2019.
The contract of facilitating the luxurious trip which was reportedly awarded to a logistics firm Etcetera Interaction Limited was claimed to “… afford them the opportunity to be exposed and groomed on the international best practice in the area of Local Government administration…” however, a check on the Corporate Affairs Commission website showed that the company is not registered.
In the same circular as seen by this online news medium, the Visa, accommodation, flight ticket and cost of feeding was also proposed to be covered by the state government while each local government council is expected to bear the cost of the Duty Tour Allowance for their representative which must be calculated at the existing exchange rate using the extant Circular with Reference Number SMD/179/336 of April 2011 on the various duty or travelling allowance payable to government functionaries in Osun State.
With Visa cost for the said duration going for about N33100 per head, average cost for a 10 days accommodation at N489,600, economy flight to and fro Dubai at N368,424,and feeding estimated at N749,700 for 10 days, about One Million Six Hundred And Forty Thousand Eight Hundred And Twenty Four Naira (N1,640,824) was estimated to be spent per head for the 10 days trip which amounts to about One Hundred and Eleven Million Five Hundred And Seventy Six Thousand And Thirty Two Naira (N111,576,032) for the 68 Local Government Chairmen who would have also smiled home with Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) of over Four Hundred Thousand Naira each (N400,000)after the 10days trip.
Critics believe that the cancellation of this executive tour was pertinent and timely as it would have been seen as a Trojan horse gift to the local chairmen especially at a time when the Nigeria Federal Intelligent Unit (NFIU) has directed that all funds allocated to Local Governments be strictly handled by them rather than being managed by State Governments which has been the practice for decades.