- As Okorocha gets knocks over his wife’s control of four ministries
The Lagos State government has raked in more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) this year.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode hailed tax payers for performing their civic obligations faithfully.
He spoke at a special evening of music and camaraderie held at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
The governor said as at December 16, the state had raked in N287billion as against N268.2billion generated last year.
Ambode said the taxes paid have been judiciously utilised to upgrade infrastructures and provide various services.
Speaking on the significance of the event which featured performances by an array of musicians and was attended by top political leaders, captains of industries, media executives, professionals in various fields, members of the diplomatic corps, among others, the governor said the government was greatly appreciative of the contributions of the people to the state’s growth.
He said: “You wonder what it is that we are doing? We said it is an evening with the governor but the truth is I just set this up to appreciate all of you and to say a big thank you.
“Yes, people have been saying that Lagos is working but Lagos is only working because of the people who are here.
“The taxpayers are the ones giving us the little energy that we have and even though when they say Nigeria is in recession, but somehow Lagos has been able to do it and it is because people are paying their taxes.
“The truth is that the people have been carrying out their civic obligations and somehow we have been returning those obligations with the services that we have provided and you found out that this year; we have actually made more IGR than last year under a recession.
The event was attended by Deputy Governor Idiat Oluranti Adebule; House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Majority Leader of House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Information Lai Mohammed; former Osun State Governors Chief Bisi Akande and Senator Isiaka Adeleke; former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke; Senator representing Lagos West and his predecessor, Solomon Adeola and Ganiyu Solomon; Speaker of Lagos State; Managing Director of Access Bank Herbert Wigwe, among others.
Some of the legendary musicians who performed at the event include Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters, Lagbaja, Queen Salawa Abeni and Adewale Ayuba.
In the meantime, reactions have continued to trail the disclosure that the Imo state governor’s wife, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, is overseeing four government ministries in the state.
Some civil servants at the state secretariat complex, Owerri, who spoke yesterday on strict grounds of anonymity, were unanimous that “ nothing could be worse than this”. They also told Vanguard that, “ This may account for why the civil service system in the state is bastardized and comatose.”
The workers equally said that, the disclosure was a joke taken too far. Similarly, an All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain from Orlu senatorial zone that did not want his name in print, appealed to public functionaries to guard their utterances because of the far reaching consequences of their outbursts.
“Such unguarded utterances are the delight of newsmen. Nobody should blame them if they latch on what will sell their paper,” the APC loyalists said. For Mazi Chijindu S. Ebuka, “People have said so much about the story in the social media and my view on it now will not make any difference from the general view “.
He however added that, “I have no doubt that so many unprintable things have been happening in public offices and this may one of the many of the infractions”. A business man in Owerri, who simply identified himself as Sir, Micheal, said that “ The need of the common man is not who controls the ministries but the basic needs of life like food, water and accommodation.
“Please direct your enquiry else where. I am very sick and tired of the happenings in Nigeria. This is not what we bargained for when we voted for APC in the last general elections”, Sir Micheal said.
Meantime, aggrieved senior citizens of Imo State, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, are billed to storm the streets of Owerri, to protest government’s plan to pay only 40 percent of their entitlements, as the Owerri Branch of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has described the forceful payment of only 40 percent of retirees pension as “an act of wickedness, callousness and gross insensitivity on the part of the state government, to the plight of pensioners.
“It has come to the notice of the NBA that government has caused forms to circulate and these pensioners are being asked to sign these forms and upon doing that, they forfeit 60 percent of their entitlements. We view this as wicked, callous and insensitive”, the Owerri NBA Chairman, Mr. Lawrence Nwakaeti said.
While urging Imolites to reject the plan, Nwakaeti also said: “The Bar condemns this. The Bar stands on the side of the pensioners, who are our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts. The Bar is also calling on Imo State government to immediately withdraw that form in circulation”. The lawyers also flayed what they described as “wanton disregard to the independence of the judicial arm of government in the state”.
Nation with additional report from Vanguard