By Ogar Monday; House of Assembly Correspondent
The Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) of Calabar South Local Government of Cross River State has revealed that the entire revenue that accrued to the Council in 2016 from the popular Watt Market in the center of Calabar metropolis was a paltry sum of twenty one thousand naira (N21,000).
The HOLGA, Mrs. Christiana Elemi made this known when giving account of the Council’s revenue and expenditure before the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the State House of Assembly.
Mrs. Elemi stated that before leaving office, the former Chairman of the Council had awarded the contract for the collection of revenue to a certain company to be making returns of twenty thousand and the company was still defaulting which led to a running legal battle.
Also speaking at the public hearing, Mrs. Anwudua Efa, Director of Finance for Akamkpa Local Government stated that most companies in the local Government are either shutting down or moving their businesses to neighboring Ebonyi State and thus negatively affecting the Council’s revenue.
Mrs. Efa, attributed this movement to double taxation or over-taxation, saying that while Ebonyi charges four thousand naira (N4,000) for haulage Cross River charges twelve thousand naira (N12,000) and pleaded with the Assembly to intervene and see how that can be sorted out.
On his part, the Chairman of the Committee and Member Representing Obudu, Hon. Steven Ukpukpen frowned at the situation where council chairmen concession council properties or revenue points beyond their administration, stating that it amounts to mortgaging the future of the council for immediate gains.
Ukpukpen stated that the law permitting that will definitely be amended before the Local Government elections and that those Council Chairmen who have served and left are not yet free from their actions while in office, as they might be called to come and account for their stewardship if found wanting.