Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State is currently choking the lean internal revenue of the state with the flood of his political appointees.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governor on Thursday approved the appointment of 18 special advisers and 12 senior special assistants.
Before now, he has sent a list of nominees to the state House of Assembly for screening as commissioners. They are Dr. Mrs. Osunkwo Iyke Njoku Prof. V. E. O Ikegwuoha, Francis Dibiagwu, Doris Akubuo, and Dan Oguh.
Others are Noble Atulegwu, C C Osuala, Lambert Orisakwe, Obiageri Ajoku, Nkechi Ugwu, Simeon Ibegbulem, Kingsley Ononuju, Declan Emelumba, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, Rex Anunobi, Raph Nwosu, Fabian Ihekwueme, Tony Umezuruike, Iyke Umeh, Mathias Emejuonu, and Love Ineh.
Speaker of the House, Collins Chiji, has set up an ad-hoc committee to screen the nominees just as he urged them to submit all necessary documents.
The ballooning appointees are coming as Governor Uzodimma had on February 20, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to refund funds the state spent in building federal roads in the state.
Channels TV reports that the governor while briefing the State House correspondents after the private meeting with Buhari, pointed out that Imo is in financial distress and that the refunded money will help with the payment of pensions and salary arrears.
According to him, the amount to be refunded was still being computed, adding that at the moment the figure they are hoping to be refunded is about N32 billion.
Adding, Uzodimma said he was committed to growing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and that he will be reviewing the state’s tax regime.
The IGR in the state rose from a low of N251 million last June to N432 million in July and N635 million in August.
Local sources say this was largely due to steps taken to reform the state’s internal revenue service, and the abolition of all cash tax payments. The government also mandated the use of the PayDirect platform with a single source sweeping of revenue.
The senior advisers appointed include, Dr. Okereke Doris Anyanwu, Ifeanyi Opara, Canis Nwachukwu, Ikem Unaegbu, Nelson Nwafor, and Mrs. Ogechi Njoku.
Others are Mrs Nkechi Mbonu, Agugbue Odonyenma, Dr Uzoma Patrick, Chief Gibson Njemanze, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, Amaka Onwumere, Francis Chukwu, Mrs Nkeiru Ezuma, Chief Sam Ejiogu, Chief Sam Osuji and Mrs Josephine Nnoham.
They also included Hajiya Fatima Hamza, Alhaji Ibrahim Suleiman, Mrs. Kate Osigwe, Mrs. Ifeoma Ndupu, Mrs. Treasure Ahanaonu, Mr. Eric Uwakwe, and Ikegwuruka Donald.
The rest are Okairo Chima, Charles Akakem, Chinonye Agobuo, Oluchi Praise, and Arinze Nwokedi.
A statement by Governor Uzodimma’s Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser, Oguwike Nwachuku, says the appointments took effect from Thursday.