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Imo state IGR hits N I.2bn dwindling IGR expected

...27 LGAs get ambulances ...Traders back closure of markets

The Imo State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has risen to N1.2 billion as at February 2020, Declan Emelumba, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who was sworn-in last Monday, has said.

But in the next few months, the commissioner noted that there may be a fall in the IGR due to temporary closure of some companies, businesses and major markets in the state by the order of Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo State, which the Imo State Amalgamated Markets Association has backed.

With the increasing IGR, the commissioner said it means the state will have more money to save for the payment of contracts and other things it has at hand, but with the closure of the major markets, as well as, temporary closure of some businesses in the state, the hope of a rise in IGR may in the coming months may not materialise due to the fear of the ravaging Coronavirus.

The Information and Strategy Commissioner who briefed journalists after the State Executive Council meeting said, “The state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has risen from the initial N620 million, which the government met on ground in January when Governor Hope Uzodinma took over office to N1.2 billion within two months”.

However, the amount Emelumba quoted was quite contrary to what Emeka Ihedioha, the former governor, told Journalists and other Imo State Stakeholders who were hosted by the Governor at his private residence in Owerri on Sunday November 24, 2019.

Ihedioha, among other things, informed that the IGR as at October 2019 stood at N871, adding, “We are gradually building the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state”.

Also during Ihedioha’s 100 Days in office, where he told the public some steps his government had taken to lift the state up. Ihedioha who was sworn -in on May 29, 2019 informed about the status of his government in terms of IGR.

According to Ihedioha, the IGR status as at June 2019 stood at N241 million, it rose to N432 million as at July, N635 million as at August and rose to N874 as at October, 2019.

Now in the coming months, Imo may be recording a sharp fall in IGR as companies  have reduced their workforce, lowered their production capacity, these including  stay at home order by Imo State government will have adverse effects on the coming IGR.

According to Emelumba, “Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has ordered the closure of all major markets in the state, effective Saturday morning this week as part of his administration’s strategy to control the spread of the Corona virus disease. He has, therefore, appealed to citizens to do their shopping between Thursday and Friday.

“Also, the governor reiterated that civil servants who fall within the approval given by the Head of Service not to report to office should stay at home until further notice”.

The state government has also procured ambulances for the 27 local government councils in Imo State, and also procured more testing centres across the state, Emelumba said.

The Information Commissioner also said the Exco has resolved that Owerri city be returned to its original Master Plan, as it will solve the issue of flooding and other environmental hazards being experienced currently.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Amalgamated Markets Association has commended Governor Uzodinma for measures taken to give a frontal attack on the ravaging Coronavirus.

Jonathan Odikanwa, chairman of the traders association who spoke when they paid a courtesy call on the governor, said, “We are ready to partner with you. We prayed for your coming and we are ready to work with you. Coronavirus has no respect for anybody, big man or poor man. What we are talking about is life”.

 

SABY ELEMBA, Owerri

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