Commissioner Reveals How Past Govt Made AG’ s office, Finance Ministry Redundant
Imo State Commissioner of Finance, Uche Uwaleke, has revealed that the debt profile of the State is over 100 billion naria.
In an interview, the Finance Commissioner said “the State debt profile, domestic and external is over 100 billion naria. When you factor in Judgement debts and contractors obligations, not to mention pension arrears, the figure becomes staggering”
He said the State is repaying for several loans including the bail out funds given to the past administration in the State by the Federal Government.
“Every month, about one billion naria is netted off at source from our FAAC allocation to service our loans, some of which use FG bailout funds that cannot be traced for what was used for”
He said the State Ministry of Finance during the reign of the past administration was of no value.
“Sadly, I met a Ministry of Finance that was of little or no value to the financial responsibilities of the State and literally stripped of its functions”
He said ” Procurement department, the Loans and Investment department and many others existed only in name. No activity went on there for years because their functions were overtaken by the Governor’s office.
“The results is better imagined; low staff morale, zero human capital development.
He revealed how the Accountant General’s office was also undermined.
“The Accountant General’s office appears worst hit because accounting records were not up to date and the State could not publish audited accounts in line with best practices”
He said the State Government intends to “clean up our payroll using the Integrated and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)”
He said “This is part of measures to address high personnel cost without jeopardising prompt payment of 100 percent salary”
He said before the introduction of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, the State was shortchanged for many years, stating that for many years, the budget process was opaque.
” But for the first time in many years, the Budget will serve as a major policy instrument for transparency” he said