Tensions escalate in Edo State as the budget for the fiscal year 2024 reveals a stark contrast in allocations between Governor Godwin Obaseki’s office and that of his deputy, Philip Shaibu. The budget, signed into law on December 15, 2023, allots a meager N345 million to the Office of the Deputy Governor, while the Governor’s office secures a substantial N19 billion.
A detailed analysis of the budget further exposes disparities in allocations, with the Office of the Secretary to the State Government receiving N8 billion, the House of Assembly securing N13 billion, and the Office of the Head of Service granted N968 million.
Sources suggest that the drastic reduction in the deputy governor’s office allocation is linked to his gubernatorial ambitions, particularly his desire to succeed Governor Obaseki. Allegedly, some lawmakers aligned with the deputy governor opposed the assembly’s decision to pass the budget as presented by the governor, labeling it an “unfair appropriation.” Despite reported divisions among lawmakers, a principal member of the House of Assembly denies any internal strife.
Last week, Deputy Governor Shaibu disclosed that his office had not received any allocation in the past six months, attributing the financial strain to the ongoing tension between him and Governor Obaseki. Speaking at the unveiling of the Correspondent Office in Benin, Shaibu asserted that he had been sustaining his office through goodwill and contributions from friends amidst the strained relationship with the governor.
The budget discrepancies add a new layer to the existing political discord, casting a shadow over the cooperative functioning of key governmental offices in Edo State.