Wilfred Chimeremeze, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has said that uncompleted projects in the state are vast and spread the land scape and each carrying liabilities in hundreds of millions, if not in billions of the naira.
Umahi, who made these observations while receiving the mantle of leadership of the state in Abakaliki at the weekend said this has become necessary to encourage every Eboyians to contribute his or her own quota, as well as make needed sacrifices to enable the state rise above its present financial burden.
“The state is swimming in a large sea of debts, especially unpaid certificates and accumulated unpaid salaries to our civil servants both at the State and Local Government levels .
“We are stepping into governance with serious financial challenges and negative balance sheet. These inherited liabilities combined with our manifesto pledges, are going to challenge us in dimensions that cannot be predicted” To come out of this financial quagmire, the Ebonyi State Chief Executive said: “our developmental challenges can only be overcome if we maximally apply our natural resources to the development of our human capital and physical infrastructure” He stated: “our commitment to entrenching zero -tolerance for corruption and institutionalising accountability and transparency in the conduct of governance will be bold and aggressive.”
He noted that fighting corruption and the vices under democratic setting is not an easy task, but one that requires the spirit of boldness to accomplish and thus charged all Government Officials thus: “We must be bold to fight corruption, ready to embrace discipline, commit the highest levels of our energies and be prepared to make personal and collective sacrifices” “There is no magic inherent in transparency and accountability beyond the courage of your convictions. I am committed to the highest dictates of accountability” he stressed.
On revenue generation, Umahi insisted that “it is imperative for every one’s efforts to be engaged in the collective fight to increase our Internally Generated Revenue(IGR)” To achieve maximum success, both at the level of revenue generation and sharing formula, he said “his administration shall reform the state’s Funds Allocation Committee to include leadership of state organized labour, some stake- holders and government functionaries and the sharing formula would shall be made public monthly.”
Accordingly, Umahi explained “the salaries and welfare of our civil servants and public office holders must be made to be dynamic so that no section of our obligations is allowed to suffer in favour of the other”. And maintained that“ we must agree with our civil servants, public servants and stake holders what percentage of our total earnings on monthly basis should be for salaries/ welfare, what percentage for running of government and what percentage for the infrastructural development”.