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|Banks owing Imo Govt N102bn Ihedioha Committee reveals, writes Hope Uzodinma by Mr. Starz: 8:51 am On April 11, 2020|
The Imo State Financial Advisory Committee set up by the sacked Governor of Imo State, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha have alerted the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma on their findings exposing huge indebtedness to the state.
Topping the list of findings on the financial condition of the state is the huge amount of money owed Imo State Government by various Banks.
In a letter addressed to Governor Hope Uzodinma and dated January February 6, 2020 which was signed by the Secretary and Chairman of the Financial Advisory Committee respectively, the Committee informed Gov Hope Uzodinma that though it was the regime of former Governor Emeka Ihedioha the Committee was set it up, the committee had continued work despite the Supreme Court verdict and had concluded its assignment and unveiled serious issues that can benefit Imo State. They stated that it was right for the Committee to inform Uzodinma as the sitting Governor to pursue the matter to a conclusive end.
According to the letter, commercial banks were said to be owing Imo State a whooping One Hundreds and twelve billion, Eight hundred and twenty four million, three hundred and thirty three thousand three hundred and sixty seventy naira, forty two kobo (N112,824,333,367.42).
The letter said this is the amount owed Imo State through “infractions, and attendant penalties” committed by Banks against the State.
The Committee stated that its assignment include “To ascertain and document the locations and balances on all Bank accounts operated by Imo State Government, its Ministries, Departments and Agencies as at May 29, 2019.
It went on to state that. “To review all financial transactions and where necessarily a forensic audit, with a view to ascertaining sources of funds and application.
“To review such disbursements/ applications of State resources to ascertain the propriety of charges, level on accounts, interest payment on loans and deposits where applicable.
The committee was also charged with “To review the operations of the Imo State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) with a view to recommending strategies to reposition the Agency for better performance and sustained growth”.
The Committee in the letter addressed to Governor Uzodinma, stated that in the course of their assignment it was discovered that if Imo State could recover the funds owed it by banks, the State could be able to offset a lot of financial burdens on Government that will be of benefit to the State.
The committee maintained that it was unfortunate that it could not tidy up its assignment before the former Governor was removed from office, and therefore emplored Governor Uzodinma to look into the findings of the Committee for the greater need of the State.
The Committee report stated that one bank alone is owing Imo State N73B from infractions and attendant penalties.
“Notably, a particular Bank is liable to refund about N73,281,899,66. (Seventy Three Billion, Two Hundred and Eight-One Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, and Sixty Six kobo).
The Committee urged the Governor to jettison partisan politics in the pursuance for the recovery of the money for posterity to remember him for doing that for Imo State.
“Finally, it would be a grave and historical insult, assault and rape of the people of Imo State if the recovery of these claims from the affected Banks is not vigorously pursued under whatever excuse.
“In this matter, history beckons on you to defend the interest of Imo State and we are convinced that you can pursue this goal with utmost good faith for the sake of posterity”.
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