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Cross River vows to stop salaries of MDAs over poor IGR

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In a bid to improve its revenue and meet with payment of salaries, the Cross River State government will henceforth stop salaries of revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that fail to meet their targets.

Auditor-General and Acting Chairman Cross River State Internal Revenue Service (IRS), John Odey, disclosed this in a meeting with representatives of the MDAs in Calabar.

In a statement issued yesterday from his office, Odey said the decision became necessary given the lackadaisical attitude of some MDAs to revenue generation, saying the dwindling revenue was unacceptable, as the state government relied on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to meet its financial obligations, especially payment of salaries.

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He explained that the essence of the meeting was to identify reasons for the revenue shortfall and brainstorm on possible solution to shore up the state’s income.

Odey, however, assured that the decision to stop salaries of defaulting MDAs was not meant to make people suffer but put people on their toes so they could do the needful.

Some of the officials of the MDAs at the meeting pledged to redouble their efforts in revenue generation, but however, urged the state government to review some of the challenges affecting their capacity to generate higher revenues.

They listed some of the challenges to include non-payment of impress, activities of illegal revenue collectors, illegal ceding of some government owned cocoa plantations and absence of functional e-ray machines in some government hospitals, among several others.

The Guardian learnt that the greatest sources of revenue leakage in the state remained activities of touts and some politicians, who see some sources of government revenue as their personal revenue outlets.

For instance, top government sources said most of the MDAs operate with double receipts, one for government and a fake one for themselves and that in some cases, receipts are not issued at all.

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