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FACT CHECK: Did Tinubu receive zero allocation as governor?




Former governor of Lagos State, and presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu claimed that he received zero allocation from the federal government when he was governor.



Bola Tinubu, who governed Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 is aspiring to be Nigeria’s president in 2023, under the All Progressive Congress (APC). His major contenders for the party’s presidential ticket include the current Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi; Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello; and Senator Ibikunle Amosun; among others.

Late last month, Speakers of the 15 state assemblies controlled by the APC, assembled at a forum hosted by the Lagos State House of Assembly. Tinubu who was present at the forum as a special guest of honour, sought the support of the legislators, while he reeled out his qualifications to govern Nigeria. The former Lagos governor boasted that he governed Nigeria’s commercial capital with zero allocation from the federal government, and he succeeded in turning the state around.

“I was raised to be courageous and this has been working for me. With zero allocation from FAAC, I turned Lagos State around and today, the state has become the largest economy in Africa. I reserve the right to brag. I want to bring same to bear as President of Nigeria. Accelerated development of Nigeria is about thinking and doing and I am ready to do that again because I am a thinker and a doer,” Tinubu said.


Old media reports perused by Ripples Nigeria show that the federal government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, only withheld the Local government fund of Lagos when Tinubu was governor.

Tinubu had created Local Council Development Areas, against the approval of the Obasanjo-led federal government. As a penalty, the federal government directed the Minister of Finance to withhold the Local government fund of Lagos, and other states who created LCDAs.

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A 2004 circular to state governors by the then Finance Minister, contained a letter from President Obasanjo directing the minister not to release the local government funds of Lagos, Ebonyi, Katsina, Nasarawa and Niger states.

Also, the then Attorney General of Lagos, Yemi Osinbajo sued the federal government for the decision. The subject of dispute was that the federal government withheld the payment of funds due to Lagos’ Local Government Councils from the Federation Account. The plaintiff argued that it was a constitutional violation.

An explainer of the Lagos state government’s argument on reads in part: “Arguing the plaintiff’s case, Professor Osinbajo (SAN) learned Attorney-General of Lagos State, adopted the plaintiff’s brief of argument and contended that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has no right to withhold the payment of fund due to the Local Government Councils from the Federation Account under Section 162 subsection (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He submitted that the powers exercisable by the President under section 162 of the Constitution are purely executive in nature and are neither legislative nor judicial. He referred to Section 162 subsection (4) of the Constitution and argued that the provisions thereof did not give the President any discretion.”

In addition, while he was motivating state governors to improve their respective state’s generating capacity, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, last year, acknowledged that the federal government withheld Lagos local government fund in 2004, until the end of the Obasanjo government.


The federal government only withheld the Local government fund of Lagos from 2004. The Federation Account allocates revenue to each federating unit, including states and local government areas, hence, Lagos as a state would not have been denied. If it was, it would have been included in the legal dispute. Also, the LG fund withheld in 2004, was eventually released to the state. but, the Tinubu administration received all its allocations from 1999 when he became governor, till he left office in 2007. His claim that he received “zero allocation” is false.

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka…

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