Aliyu Saifudden, Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, said those making the allegation were only being mischievous.
He explained that the N300 million was used to augment salaries and other expenses of local governments that were unable to meet the obligations.
Saifudden said in Ilorin at the 32nd Media Parliament of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara Council, that the money accumulated over time from what remained of the monthly LG allocation.
“A lot of things have been said about money being diverted from the local government purse, let me make it clear that no N300 million was stolen from the local government funds.
“It was a misrepresentation of fact to have alleged that the state government has diverted money. The money they were talking about was reserved, but its custody was the only issue.
“The funds accumulated from allocations to local governments in the state became a problem and it was used to augment salaries in local governments,” the commissioner said.
He said that local government areas in the state were enjoying autonomy since the administration of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was inaugurated in 2019.
The Chairman of NUJ in Kwara, Mr Abdullateef Ahmed, said local governments must be allowed to operate independent of the control of state executives.
He said that this was necessary for the councils to perform optimally and meet the expectations of people at the grassroots.
“I’m aware efforts have been made to grant local government full autonomy.
“Thus, it would not be out of place to call on the executive and legislative arms at the national level to discountenance the usual stereotype and fear of the unknown.
“Walk the talk and make local government areas autonomous in the management and running of their activities. Whatever is the lacuna should be cleared without wasting time,” the state NUJ chairman said.