Imolites groan

Cover Story
  • Over govt agencies’ aggressive funds drive
  • Count ENTRACO out – Ebere

Desperation appears to be the word as some agencies of Imo government launch out an aggressive funds drive in order to shore up its revenue base.
Reports filtering from Imo citizens especially those in business indicate various levies and charges are being imposed on them.
Some traders have raised complaints that they are being tasked to pay different kinds of levies without considering if they are making sales. An infuriated trader dealing in foodstuff who gave out his name as Tochukwu wondered what the government has done for them before inflicting on them these levies.
When our reporters roved round the city, the Ministry of Transport agents appointed to manage the parks were seen all over the places mounting road blocks to collect fees. The people spotting colored uniforms operating under Lasbergas West Africa Links around Ikenegbu ambushed commuters operating from Uratta who appear to be evading them.
They were insisting that the BUSIMO drivers pay N7000 emblem fee per annum. This got resistance from some of them who claimed that they have no such money. However, some respected to pay for the daily ticket to the agents.
It was also learnt that the Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) has also changed its manner of refuse collection. Residents are now to be making some compulsory monthly payments to the Commission representing fees for the house to house refuse collection which is the new method of refuse disposal.
The Imo Internal Revenue Services (IIRS) have also released a regime of new sets of fees ranging from signage bills to other new ones. The state appears charged with series of demands made on the citizens to honour these obligations.
The Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) is also not left out in the series of demand for revenue. We stumbled on a report indicating that ENTRACO had issued a notice mandating all the owners of hostels in the state to remit the sum of N180, 000 to a specified account for the purpose of fumigation.
Although the government has denied knowledge of this amount, many still believe that the denial was political and designed to save face. A dissatisfied government official who does not want his name in print queried, “what truth have any government ever said, continue to wait for truth if you like.”
When a hostel owner who chose to speak under anonymity was contacted on the payment he claimed that he has heard it and fuming with his response asked the reporter to go and ask the government to what extent they have buoyed up the economy of Imo before making such outrageous demands.
In his words, “is it not this same government that have refused to pay the civil servants in the states? Where does he think that we are going to make the money to meet their desires? Is there any industry that they have created or activated,” he queried again.
Meanwhile, the chairman of ENTRACO Hon. Macdonald Ebere, when contacted denied knowledge of the reported N180,000 allegedly imposed on hostel owners for fumigation, by the agency.
Ebere accused enemies of the Shared Property government of peddling concocted lies to discredit Senator Hope Uzodimma’s government, assured those behind the lies as well as their illegal agents will be exposed.
“People seems to be interesting on negative aspect of ENTRACO, and not the positive reports. I have said it severally that people should be weary of fake ENTRACO agents and report anyone who illegally tries to extort them to our office.”
“Our main focus is to return orderliness in our dear state and not to subject Imolites to hardship, if there is any aggressive fund drive going on in the state like you claim, which I doubt, count ENTRACO out. Of course, I know our amiable governor, will not tolerate such an aggressive fund’s drive,” he added.
All efforts to reach OCDA boss proved abortive as he could not pick his calls as at the time of filling this report.

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