Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Managing Director of the defunct Spring Bank Plc, Mike Chukwu, has been sworn in as the Chairman of Internal Revenue Board of Ebonyi State.
He was sworn-in alongside the former governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 2011 and 2015 general elections in the state, Dr. Austin Nweze; former Commissioner for Finance, Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Chief Jonah Egba, among others as members.
Performing the swearing-in ceremony at the Exco Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, the state governor, Chief David Umahi, said that he was giving the board members three months to reposition the board and prove their capability to generate fund for the government and the board.
He declared that after the three months period, the government would not spend its money to pay the salaries, running costs, and allowances of the board members insisting that they would earn their salaries from the money they generated.
Umahi said: “What we expect you to do is to come in, clean the system, ordain the system, increase the revenue by XYZ and take 5% of the revenue to run the revenue board, revenue management, and their appeal.
“The truth of the matter is that the lean resources of the state cannot pay the salaries and allowances of these heavy men and women. And so, it is like a social contract.
“We are not doing you any favour; it is not a political appointment. We are choosing the crème of our intellectuals to assist us in this nagging problem of our revenue collection. We remain the least in the entire federation and it shouldn’t be.
“The quarry alone, the lead and zinc should give us what we are looking for. So, if you focus, you will see the benefit of it. If anybody thinks that it is political patronage, it is not true because before the little money comes, the one that comes from Abuja, it is already spent. So, am appealing that this is an opportunity for us to work,” he said.
Responding, Chukwu, a younger brother of former Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, assured the state government that the team would do everything within its powers to deliver on its mandate.