The Cross River State government has charged all local government administrators in the state to derive measures in strengthening the local government as the third tiers of government and closest to the people.
This was made known by the honourable commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Mrs Stella Oreme odey on an inspection visit to Odukpani Local government Area. The commissioner has visited Calabar Municipal, Calabar South, Akpabuyo, Biase, Akamkpa, and Odukpani LGAs so far, and same message of strengthening the local government system, revenue generation in order to execute projects that could benefits the rural dwellers, and the downtrodden were preached.
The Odukpani Head of Local government administration, HOLGA, Mrs. Asim Opara highlighted some issues bothering the council’s IGR. “Generation of revenue has posed a great challenge due to incessant communal and inter boundary crisis between Cross River and Akwa Ibom State which in turn has closed down many revenue points thereby reducing the revenue of the council”.
In reaction, Hon. Odey sympathised with the council on the incessant Interstate and communal crisis facing Odukpani. She admonished that other sources of revenue generation should be mapped out.
In her words, “our state Governor sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is a deep thinker, he thinks out of the box. If he can pay salary as at when due and still executing bogus projects even with the meager allocation from the Federal government,then we have no option than to do same. We have to think of other alternative to generate revenue for Odukpani LGA as we pray and act in containing the crisis”.
Reacting to the head of finance’s complain on politicians hijacking the revenue system in Odukpani, the honourable Commissioner advised that, a revenue collection data base be initiated and the local government synergize with relevant revenue collection officers on a certain percentage for all party involve. I think with this there wouldn’t be issues in the revenue collection system in Odukpani LGA.
I worked in Odukpani LGA for years and things were perfectly working. Odukpani is a blessed LGA. She urged the head of Education to sensitise the people on marriage registration as it could generate revenue for the LGA. Most of the staff can act in all departments, she also urged the HoE to train staff and synergize with them for the betterment of the council. “Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade believes in team work, and we must synergize and get things work the way it should be”. Hon. Odey also frowned at the poor handling of Government properties. “It is as a result of poor handling that almost all the boreholes in Odukpani are not working”. She directed the HOLGA to inform the contractors to get the boreholes fixed before their 5% balance be paid to them. She urged the head of works to put a team of youth in Odukpani to look after government projects in all communities in Odukpani as it is in their best interest.
The honourable commissioner and her inspectorate team were forthwith, taken round the council to inspect offices and ongoing and completed projects. Hon. Odey inspected the newly renovated staff quarters done by the present HOLGA, Mrs Asim Opara.
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