The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has sent a warning to ministries, departments and agencies of government whose personnel are allegedly involved in extorting members of the public and abusing the collection of government revenue, saying the hammer will fall on them without notice.
The governor noted that reports from ministries, departments and agencies of government over continued harassment of hapless members of the public, particularly petty traders, have continued to question the integrity of those entrusted with the responsibility of managing the so-called MDAs.
A statement yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor Oguwike Nwachuku, said Governor Uzodimma’s warning was against the backdrop of a trending voice message on social media alleging extortion of petty traders operating with umbrella shades in Owerri by those believed to be agents of government.
He said that government establishments should keep to their mandates, adding that the harmonised mode of revenue collection in Imo State (Treasury Single Account- TSA) under the watch of Imo State Internal Revenue Service (IIRS) still subsists and that any MDA doing the contrary will be poking its hands in the eyes of the government.
While the officials of the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) were linked to the voice message, the management of the body has distanced itself from the allegation, insisting that their mandate does not include collection of fees on the streets.
A message from the General Manager of OCDA, Hon. Franklin Nkem Nzewodo did not only frown at the trending voice mail, but saw it as an orchestrated ploy to undermine his office and the good job they are doing.
Nzewodo said: “The management of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) has frowned at insinuations from interested parties who go about creating the impression that the body collects money from vendors on the streets of Owerri.
“Contrary to such insinuations by callous blackmailers who would deploy any tool to undermine the good work the OCDA is doing in Imo State currently, the management notes that our job specification is not ambiguous for the personnel to comprehend.
“The Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) is a government agency responsible for the planning, development, and maintenance of the capital city of Owerri in Imo State.”