IMO STATE DEPUTY SPEAKER CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED FRIVOLOUS BANK ACCOUNTS
By Augustine Agwulonu
The Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and member representing Mbaitoli Constituency, Hononurable Okechukwu Onyekanma has urged the State Assembly to investigate the over 250 operational bank accounts alleged to have been used to divert state funds during the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha.
In a motion presented to the House at Plenary,Honourable Onyekanma alleged that the said over 250 operational accounts contributed to the numerous losses, leakages and lapses in the management of funds and revenue meant for the State,He maintained that even with the exit of Okorocha’s administration, certain funds were still being moved to other accounts without following due process and thereby reducing the expected revenue of the state government.
Honourable Onyekanman therefore solicited that those accounts indiscriminately opened bythe past administration between June 2011 and May 29 2019, be properly evaluated by the Auditor –General of the State to detect leakages and return any funds that maybe discovered to the government’s coffers. He added that forensic experts should be involved in the process.
In another development, the member representing Idea to-North State Constituency, Hon. Arthur Egwim, has presented a Bill for a Law to repeal Imo State Produce Inspection Edict No. 37 of 1995 and to enact Imo State Produce Inspection law and for other connected purposes which has passed a second reading.
Egwim, in his submission, argued that the money previously collected on certain products cannot satisfy the present day reality, stating that those products meant to attract N100 should presently attract N1000 to enable the State boost her internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Meanwhile, the Member representing Isu State Constituency at the Imo State House of Assembly, Honourable Mrs. Ngozi Obiefule, has decried the indiscriminate imposition of levies on the operators of Taxi and Buses in Owerri by different revenue collecting agents allegedly working for the State government.
The female lawmaker made her position known at the house plenary through motion of urgent public importance she moved to draw the attention of her colleagues to the activities of revenue operators. She stated that she had received numerous complaints from some of her constituents affected by such exploitation and imposition; and this has motivated her raise the issue in the House for effective solution.
She frowned at a situation where both taxi and bus operators in Owerri in particular were forced by different motor parks and task forces to pay the sum of 500 naira on daily basis, adding that their failure to meet up with such payments, attracts an immediate penalty of 5000 Naira.
Obiefule maintained that such imposition of levies and unjustifiable penalty by those revenue collectors would definitely affect the taxis and buses’ owners and their families economically and thereby resulting in more hardship.
She called on the House to have an interface with such organs as ENTRACO management, Ministry of Transport Commissioner, Board of Internal Revenue and Managers of motor parks in the state so as to find a lasting solution to the problem. The speaker, Right Honourable Chiji Collins, endorsed the proposed invitation of the aforementioned to interact with the House at the Executive session.