DG NEMA Mustapha Habib and DG FEMA Alhaji Idris Abbas

ASABA/Nigeria: The Delta State House of Assembly has ordered the various local Government Chairmen in the State to ensure that all outstanding deductions to relevant agencies were remitted without delay.

The order was part of recommendations of the Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri led House Committee on Public Accounts on the review of the report of the Auditor-General (Local Government) in the account of the 25 local Government Councils of the State for the years ended December 2017 and 2018.

Presenting the report of the Committee reached at Tuesday’s plenary of the House presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, Hon Anthony Elekeokwuri, ordered the various local Government Chairmen in the State  to stop the trend of non-remittances of deductions on behalf of third party.

The House also enjoined the local Government Councils to ensure proper maintenance of cash books and to keep them on a daily basis in line with financial memorandum of the relevant laws.

It urged the Councils to ensure the timely payment of all Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the Consolidated Revenue Funds as provided by section 55 of the Delta State Local Government law 2013.

While admitting that the 2017, 2018 report of the Auditor General (Local Government) are complete as it gave a true and fair view of the operations of the local Government, Hon Elekeokuri however observed the existence of over bloated and long-standing unretired advances in the accounts of all the 25 local Government Councils.

The Lawmaker explained that the 2017 and 2018 financial year was substantially stable especially looking at the political and economic spheres in the state and the country at large.

Hon Elekeokwuri who represents Ika North East in the House, disclosed that the sum of 51.6 billion naira accrued to the 25 local government councils as receipts in 2017 financial year, and 65.9 billion naira in 2018.

On the expenditure, the Lawmaker said a total of 54.6 billion was expended in 2017 financial year and 56.6 in 2018.

According to him, the aggregate actual revenue performance of the local government councils was about 92% in 2017 and 142% in 2018 in comparison with the budgeted figures.

Hon Elekeokwuri also gave the aggregate actual performance against budget figures as 96% in 2017 and 147% in 2018 financial year.

He said the overall budget performance in both periods under review were poor as actual revenue could not cover salaries and wages of the councils.

The recommendations of the Committee was adopted following a motion to that effect by the Deputy Majority Leader, Oboro Preyor.

The Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori commended Hon Anthony Elekeokwuri and members of his public accounts Committee for painstakingly looking into the report of the Auditor-General (Local Government) in the account of the 25 local Government Councils of the State for the years ended December 2017 and 2018.

In a related development, a Bill for a law to regulate the activities of Community Development Associations, CDAs, in Delta State, has passed second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.

The executive bill, among other things, seeks to address incessant community crisis arising from structure, organization, operation and other activities of the various CDAs in the State.

Opening debate on the bill at Tuesday’s Plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, the Deputy Majority leader, Hon Oboro Preyor, described the bill as timely, noting that the proposed law would help in checking the growing rate of community crisis in the State.

Hon Preyor explained that the proposed law will also help in strengthening the existing peace as well as enhancing the security of lives and property in the state.

He stated that the fifteen clause Bill, will modify the structure, operations, as well as modes of conducting elections and the general activities of the various CDAs in the State.

The Deputy Majority Leader said all CDAs in the State are to be registered with the State Ministry of Women Affairs when the bill is passed and signed into law.

Hon Preyor stressed that proposed law is essentially aimed at improving governance at the community level as some of the activities of the CDAs often leads to wanthom destruction of lives and property.

In their contributions, Hon Solomon Ighrakpata, Uvwie, Ferguson Onwo, Isoko South two, Hon Pat Ajudua, Oshimili North, and Charles Emetulu, Ndokwa West said the merits of the bill were enormous, especially towards enhanced peace, security and development of various communities across the state.

The stated that with this bill, no family or quarter in a community shall hold on to power in the community exco perpetuity to the exclusion of other members of the community.

When put into voice vote by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, the Lawmakers unanimously adopted the second reading of the bill.

The speaker subsequently referred to the bill to a Joint House Committees on Housing, Women Affairs and Security with a mandate to report back on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.


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