All those collecting revenue illegally in Imo State, claiming to be doing so on behalf of government ministry, department or agency have been warned to desist forthwith or be confronted with the government law enforcement machinery.
Also, it has become mandatory for every Imo citizen to wear a face mask or shield in a public place or be arrested and sent to jail for violating the Covid-19 protocol in Imo state.
Rising from the maiden Imo State Executive Council Meeting of the year, Wednesday January 13, 2021 presided over by the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Government said recent reports on the activities of illegal revenue collectors in the state and the abuse of the Nigerian Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) protocol by the citizens call for drastic measures to check the defaulters.
It was also an opportunity for Government to reiterate her initial warning and reminders to all Revenue Agencies in the state that the use of Consultants for collection of government revenue in Imo had been abolished.
The government therefore sternly warned that any person(s) caught claiming to be collecting revenue for government under whatever guise will be arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail.
Addressing the media, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba informed that “the Executive Council noted with delight that Government has recorded much improvement in the maintenance of roads in Owerri Municipal and its environs” and that “over 15 Owerri Municipal roads and another 15 rural roads are all made motorable which is an improvement on the State of such roads during the same period both in 2019 and 2020.”
Emelumba who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha and the Chief Press Secretary/Special Adviser (Media) to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, noted that Government frowns seriously at the non compliance to the Covid-19 protocols in the State by the citizens, particularly in the light of the recent resurgence in the Covid-19 cases and fatality there from.
To check the non compliance to the NCDC Covid-19 protocols, Emelumba said “government therefore warned that henceforth it is criminal to attend any government function, enter any government office or building, or even transact business with government without wearing the face mask.”
He said that non adherence to the simple corona virus protocols attracts instant arrest and persecution and that compliance to the existing protocols had become imperative or government will consider a second lockdown in the State.
On the issue of resumption of schools, Emelumba said the Exco noted that though the federal government is considering moving the resumption date from January 18 to 25, 2021, “the Imo State Government is still studying the situation and its plausibility to know whether or not to adhere to the said resumption date owing to corona virus resurgence.”
Adding his voice on the reopening of schools, the Commissioner for Education emphasized that all schools in Imo State are bound to adhere to government regulations on the matter. He noted that, “any private school, including Mission schools that go contrary to government directives will be closed down because the concern of government is the effect of Covid-19 on Imo children which do not differentiate between pupils or students of public schools and that of private schools.”
Emelumba used the opportunity to remind Imolites that the Shared Prosperity Government of Governor Uzodimma has already clocked one year and that going by the obvious achievements recorded during the period under review, an appropriate date for the celebration of the one year in office of the government will be announced.
He assured that the date of the celebration will not exceed the month of January when Governor Uzodimma mounted the saddle in Imo State.