Edo State is experiencing an outburst of anger as it was revealed that the 18 local government areas (LGAs) in the state generate a paltry sum of N3 million monthly as internally generated revenue (IGR). The state government has threatened to probe, arrest and dismiss any head of local government administration (HOLGA) or council personnel involved in shady deals leading to the decline in IGR. The deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, made this declaration during a close-door meeting with HOLGAs and local government liaison officers at the Government House in Benin City.
Incompetence, abuse of office, lack of accountability and truancy among others were cited as the reasons for the LGAs’ poor IGR. The IGR profile of Egor local government alone was N1 million while the remaining councils generated N2 million, which the deputy governor described as criminal and unacceptable to the government. He added that it is impossible for motorcycles and tricycles to generate more revenue than cars and buses put together.
To address this issue, the deputy governor directed HOLGAs and liaison officers to immediately constitute a credible revenue task force across the 18 LGAs to ensure proper collection of revenue for accountability. However, the state government may also invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the activities of the councils for the period under review. Whoever is culpable of mismanagement will be sacked, arrested, and made to face prosecution in a competent court of jurisdiction.
This development has caused concern among residents of the state, who are worried about the state of the LGAs and their inability to generate adequate revenue. The three recognized transport unions in the state, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and ANNEWATT, were also present at the meeting.
In conclusion, the state government’s decision to investigate and take action against any HOLGA or council personnel involved in shady deals leading to the decline in IGR is a step in the right direction. This action will help to restore confidence in the local government administration and improve revenue generation for the state.