Cross River Assembly Threatens Looters Over LGCs’ Accounts

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The Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) has delivered hard knocks on treasury looters and the Ikom Local Government Council for poor financial records keeping and worrisome leakages in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collections.
For the lawmakers, they are ready to give speedy legislative approvals for the recovery of any stolen or misappropriated public funds by public officers, especially staff of the Unified Local Government Service.
Brushing aside the evident overly delayed Council’s audited accounts as at the year ended 31st December, 2010, the Assembly expressed displeasure that the Council could only realised a paltry sum of N13.911 million out of its N72.862 million in IGR performance during the period under review.
According the House, the over N58.952 million recorded shortfall was unacceptable, and the Council must urgently evolve measures to effectively harness existing revenue sources while also exploring additional ones to enhance its internal revenue potentials.
The House further resolved that stringent measures must be applied to minimise leakages in the Council’s IGR collection, stressing that such measures should include: ensuring IGR collected are paid directly into designated bank accounts; proper understanding of the classification of revenue codes into which IGR revenue should be lodged for proper accountability; and discouraging political patronage where viable revenue points are contracted to agents who remit little or nothing to the council’s coffers.
The House’s stance is against the backdrop of report presentation by the Committee on public Accounts headed by member representing Obudu State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Stephen Ukpukpen Akumaye. It urged the Ikom Council management to undertake a thorough scrutiny of available records to determine balances that should be recovered from some former staff of Councils.
With assurances that members would speed up legislative approvals to recover any stolen or misappropriated public funds, the House condemned existing practice where workers of the Unified Local Government Service accumulate unretired allowances in different local government councils where they are posted to serve.
The Assembly further charged the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to always come up with accurate information on the status of indebtedness by staff on routine postings in their last pay certificates to enhance the recovery and subsequent remittance of their indebtedness to the treasury.

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