By Ogu Bundu Nwadike
In the first seven months in office of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ogbuagu Emeka Ihedioha CON KSC FNIFST by the power and authority Order 005 conferred on him, instituted the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
It’s a financial control mechanism that has received global approvals and applauses for enhancing the fight against corruption. Within the seven months, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State was grown by the RebuildImo administration from about N200 million to N1.18 billion!
A lot of financial haemorhage occasioned by the over 250 bank accounts being operated by the Imo State government were blocked. The result was that the the IGR increased in leaps and bounds, while the culture of financial discipline was steadily being inculcated and imbibed in Imo State.
And if to confirm that the TSA was a very good policy, Imo State was rated least corrupt State by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The State also won the BusinessDay award of excellence as “The State With The Fastest Growing Economy”. Few other recognitions were accorded Imo State in the area of the improved economy all on account of better financial performance report.
Things were beginning to get well with the finances of Imo State before the Supreme Court struck, made Gov. Ihedioha while imposing Senator Hope Uzodimma as governor.
The latest in the first near four weeks of his wobbly and fumbling regime that exposes his characteristic cluelessness, ineptitude and incompetence, is that Uzodimma has silently jettisoned the TSA policy and restarting the noxious over 250 bank accounts that were abrogated by Gov. Ihedioha.
In an expository news story which rightly got the big story banner headline position on the front page of an Imo based newspaper, “Eastern Lead Express”, it was stated thus: Financial Authonomy Returns In Ministries”. It had two riders: “Perm Secs Dump TSA With Ihedioha” and “Operate With Various Bank Accounts”!
The first paragraph of the big story succinctly situated the unfortunate development that certainly has very negative implications for Imo people as it signals the return of looting Imo people’s money by the governor and officials of government.
It read thus: “Majority of the Permanent Secretaries in Imo State appears to have heaved a sigh of relief over the introduction of the Treasury Single Account which was introduced by the immediate former governor of Imo State Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, which hitherto prevented the former Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries from taken(sic) of the finances that accrued to their ministries.
“The Ihedioha administration came with its Treasury Single Account in which all the ministries were compelled to pay all the money generated by it to that single account which only the Government has access to.
“However with the coming on board of the new Government under the leadership of Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Permanent Secretaries as gathered by the Lead have thrown overboard the said Treasury Single Account and resorted to the usual style of operating with various bank accounts.”
Certainly, the Treasury Looting Machinery has again been reintroduced to replace the Treasury Single Account! It’s most unfortunate that the visible restoring of sanity in Imo finances has been punctured by a faulty person known with financial malpractices!
Having said that, let me report that it’s the view of many concerned pundits that the faulty fiscal decisions by Senator Uzodimma smack of financial misappropriation of a sort. From the brand new cars released to the Permanent Secretaries to this discarding of the TSA, all tend to point a governor in a hurry to take undue advantage of his opportunity dogged by illegitimacy to dry clean the state’s treasury before his imminent recall by the Supreme Court that sent him to the Government House ab initio!
Whatever the position, it’ll be good if Imo people will take note of the financial profligacies of Senator Uzodimma. It’ll be fine too for Ndimo to start even now to ask relevant questions and demand relevant answers.
So doing will prevent the incidence of “had I known”, which our people say is the brother of Mr. Late. The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of his governor and governnent officials stealing the commonwealth of the people!
The guiding principle should be the interesting parlance: “If you see something, say something”! By the grace of God, Imo State must be rebuilt!
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