THE Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha has lamented the situation of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state, saying that Imo has not been making significant progress in IGR.
In listing the deficiencies in the state, Ihedioha mentioned lack of water, absence of electricity in the State secretariat, decaying infrastructure.
In Abuja, Monday, Ihedioha met with President Muhammadu Buhari and sought presidential intervention in the infrastructure deficiencies in Imo.
Ihedioha told journalists that he sought the intervention of the Federal Government on agriculture and how the state could benefit from such intervention programmes.
Imo, he said, needs such support in all facets of the economy, and “the Federal Government needs to support us in agriculture because the government we succeeded didn’t take advantage of government policies in agriculture.
“So we are working towards agricultural revolution to ensure that it becomes a source of revenue and we need Federal Government’s support in that regard.
“We need government’s support in education, healthcare and building institutions.”
Bemoaning the level of revenue earning power of the state, the Governor said: “When I came in, I found out to my chagrin, that there were so many leakages. We were not, as a state, making significant progress in our IGR.
“The Internally Generated Revenue base of the state was very weak and when the IGR base is weak without having a productive economy, it obviously meant that we depended essentially on what came from federal allocation and of course other agencies being an oil producing state.
“It then became necessary that we find ways out and that was why I set up a Financial Advisory Committee. The committee recommended that, in view of where we are and because of our decision to instil a regime of fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability, and to reduce the level of corruption, we should introduce the TSA.”
He explained that the TSA was meant to boost Internally Generated Revenue in the state and he is hopeful that the policy would address identified leakages and check possible cases of diversion of government revenue by unscrupulous public servants.
Acknowledging that he was under pressure to take action against his predecessor because of the rot in the system, he noted that he was more interested in bringing focus and sanity into governance.
“We are not focusing on what the man (Rochas Okorocha) had done; we are focusing on what we are doing.
“If you are restoring public water, you are doing something because you did not meet water. Or am I going to say I met water when there was no water?
“The Government House had been disconnected from public power supply when I came. The state secretariat had been disconnected from public power supply for about eight years. Bridges are built in my state without iron rods. Am I supposed to be clapping?
“We don’t run a government by propaganda; it is not about me and I don’t like talking about my predecessor in office. I am talking about government,
“I am talking about focus; what we are doing first is to restore confidence in the entire system,’’ he added.