**As Gov. Explains Reasons for Joining OGP
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Efforts by the Imo State government to run an open system of administration has continued to pay off. This was reflected in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which rose to over N800 million last month.
On Tuesday, Deputy Governor of the state Mr Gerald Irona, received a delegation of the British High Commission to Nigeria on behalf of Governor Emeka Ihedioha and said at the meeting that, “We met an IGR base of N258 million monthly. His Excellency introduced reforms to entrench transparency and accountability in governance.
“Through Order 005, the Treasury Single Account (TSA) was introduced and as a result, many leakages in revenue have been blocked. Last month, we generated over N800 million as against N258 million that we inherited as IGR.”
He explained that the state government applied to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as one of the ways of entrenching transparency in public service. He described Imo State as an investment-friendly state, reiterating the commitment of the present administration to partner international organizations in ensuring good governance in the state.
“In Imo State, we are highly enterprising people and we are investor-friendly. We have very huge potentials in tourism, agriculture and education.
“We inherited a state with decayed infrastructure and poor morale of citizens, occasioned by poor governance. Pensioners were owed for over eighty months and the Governor has now started paying. Governor Emeka Ihedioha has taken steps towards restoring public confidence in governance, with rule of law as a cardinal principle,” he said.
He said further that, “We are implementing the IPPC accounting standards. We have applied to join the OGP as one of our transparency initiatives. We are opening up the government for citizens’ scrutiny and participation. We have opened an Efficiency Unit in the Ministry of Finance, with a view to reducing the cost of governance.
“We are investment-friendly and the Governor has set up a desk for ease of doing business in the state. We seek investments in the areas of Power, Agriculture and Tourism. Imo State is willing and ready to partner with the DFID.”
Earlier in her presentation, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing, said the team was in the state to identify areas of possible support through the Department for International Development.
“We are in your state to get a better understanding of what is on the ground, with a view to knowing how we can support governance in Imo State. We have programmes that will be beneficial to you. We also wish to understand the challenges you are facing in the state,” she said.
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