By ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA— Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has threatened to sack civil servants tampering with the state’s internally generated revenue.
The governor’s threat came against the backdrop of the state’s dwindling monthly internally generated revenue, IGR.
He gave the warning at a meeting with some ministries, treasurers of the 17 councils, heads of the council town planning authorities and officials of National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE .
Orji said the state was capable of generating at least N3 billion monthly internally, and warned that the government might be tempted to wield the big stick, if the workers in the finance ministry did not sit up and stop diverting state’s revenue.
He directed them to move into Aba, the commercial city, and tap into the various industries and other revenue generating ventures in the city.
Governor Orji also urged them to reduce their over dependence on Ariaria market alone.
Orji said: “If we do not start generating at least N3 billion every month from this August, heads will roll, as the IGR is now the salvation of this state since we are now having a dwindling revenue from the Federation Account.
“We need to shore up our revenue base and those who are not ready to help us in that direction should leave for those who are ready to work to come on board.”
The governor, who had a similar meeting with some commissioners on Monday, lamented the unpatriotic activities of some workers, which had led to the state losing a lot of money which he alleged usually got into their private pockets.
“We can no longer allow the civil servants to continue doing business as usual, the method must change for us to move to the next level,” he warned.
Specifically, Governor Orji invited the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Planning and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as the transition committee chairmen of Aba South and Aba North council areas.
The governor accused town planners in the 17 local government areas of diverting the state’s revenue.
Governor Orji noted that the cartel involved in the economic sabotage of the state must be broken, if the state must move forward.
He directed the local government officials to disband all the local revenue consultants they engaged without the approval of the state government, noting that they had been unleashing mayhem on the residents of the state, thereby giving the state a bad name.
“The supposed revenue consultants that you have engaged have been generating money for you and your cartel to pocket while the state that engaged you to help them work suffers. You generate N30 million and both of you share it equally, this has to stop from now,” Orji warned.
According to him, the government is determined to step on toes to do what is right and good for the state no matter whose ox is gored.
He pointed out that many workers in the state do not go to work but come to office to take their salary and urged them to work for their money.
Governor Orji also attacked the chairmen of Aba North and Aba South, accusing them of of not doing much. “You people have not done one kilometre of road in Aba city since you were appointed, your work is to do the local roads and de-silt drainages which you have not been doing”.