From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Cross River Auditor-General and Acting Chairman State Internal Revenue Service (IRS), John Odey, has disclosed that henceforth governement would withhold salaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who fail to meet their revenue targets.
Odey, who made the disclosure during a meeting with representatives of revenue-generating MDAs recently in Calabar, said this measure has become imperative given the lackadaisical attitude of some MDAs concerning revenue generation.
He noted with dismay the dwindling shortfall in revenue, describing it as unacceptable as government now relies heavily on internally generated revenue (IGR) to meet its financial obligations especially the payment of salaries.
He explained that the essence of the meeting is to identify reasons for the dwindling revenue as well as rub minds on possible solutions to revenue increase in the state.
According to the Auditor-General, the decision to put salaries of defaulting MDAs on hold is not meant to make people suffer but ‘put people on their toes so they can do the needful.’
In separate responses, soemnof the representatives proposed to redouble their efforts in revenue generation? calling on the government to look into some of the challenges affecting their revenue generation.
They listed some of these challenges to include: non-payment of Imprest, activities of illegal revenue collectors, illegal ceding of some government owned cocoa plantations and absence of functional x-ray machines in some government hospitals.