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Imo Assembly Tasks Okorocha To Widen Revenue Base

Imo State House Of Assembly Moves To Empower Relevant State Government Agencies To Generate More Revenue From Illegal Motor Parks, Indiscriminate Parking Of Vehicles And Street Trading.

Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri

Following its move to increase the state’s internally generated revenue by 100 percent, the Imo State House of Assembly has moved to empower relevant agencies of the government to generate more revenue from illegal motor parks, indiscriminate parking of vehicles and street trading.

In a motion sponsored by the member representing Njaba State Constituency, Mrs. Uju Onwudiwe, the House resolved to invite the general managers of the Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO), Owerri Capital Development Authority(OCDA) caretaker Chairman of Owerri Municipal Council, Imo State Orientation Agency among others to explain why, Owerri, the capital city should be full of dirt and largely unattractive. The House stated that to stop such actions, the state should begin to generate enough revenue from defaulters and by extension improve the aesthetics beauty of the capital and improve tourism.

Speaking at the floor of the House during the plenary, Onwudiwe expressed disgust over what she called indiscriminate parking of vehicles in the streets of Owerri, street trading as well as illegal use of major roads and streets as motor parks. She said such actions had led to the defacing of the capital city and were capable of causing a repeat of Onitsha tanker accident in which dozens lost their lives, if nothing urgent was done to stop them.

The lawmaker said that the House should empower the relevant agencies to knock down illegal structures and penalize those involved in erecting such structures near the major roads and streets. Supporting the motion, the member for Isu, Mrs. Ngozi Obiefule stressed the importance of ensuring that Owerri became the cleanest state capital it used to be in the past. She urged the state government to take a cue from Anambra State Government which had turned Onitsha from a chaotic city to more habitable city, where tourists even visit for relaxation.

The member representing Owerri North State Constituency, Mr. Chukwuemeka Lloyd, blamed government agencies charged with the responsibility of sanitizing the state capital of compromising in their duties. According to him, most of the places designated as parks were re-allocated to individuals who had since built houses on them.

This he said was the reason the state government had never mustered any courage to punish offenders for illegal motor parks. Also supporting the motion, the member for Ahiazu Mbaise constituency, Ken Agbim blamed lack of enforcement on government agencies in charge of the duties, as according to him, the taskforce went to sleep after just few weeks of work.

He expressed disgust over loss of several man hours to road traffic congestions on daily basis and therefore stated that if well-managed, more revenue could be generated from that. While extending invitation to the government-agencies, the House therefore called on the state government to take action to stop indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the streets as well as the mess in the state capital city.

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