The All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter has urged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to move to recover funds stolen by officials of the immediate past administration instead of embarking on excessive taxation to fund the 2016 budget.
Reacting to the 2016 budget proposal presented by Governor Ugwuanyi to the Enugu State House of Assembly on December 23, tagged “Budget of Stability and Consolidation”, the party dismissed it as prone to excessive taxation.
In a statement in Enugu, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mrs. Kate Offor, noted that rather than recover the funds stolen under the administration of his predecessor, Sullivan Chime, Governor Ugwuanyi tends to embark on excessive taxation of poor indigenes and residents of the State, to fund the budget.
The statement was titled “APC urges Governor Ugwuanyi to recover stolen funds”.
It read in part: “In reviewing the 2016 Budget Estimate presented to Enugu State House of Assembly by His Excellency, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, tagged Budget of Stability and Consolidation; the All Progressives Congress (APC) Enugu State Chapter, through their State Publicity Secretary, Mrs Kate Ofor states:
“After a cursory glance we wish for the mean time to challenge our dear governor on why instead of recovery of looted funds, he is poised to embark on excessive taxation of the poor indigenes and residents of Enugu State, as underlined in his budget address. He wants to raise N18, 882,415,000 via taxation instead of making strident efforts to recover billions allegedly stolen by the Barrister Sullivan Chime’s regime. To us recovery of looted funds is the best strategy to raise funds to augment the dwindling oil revenue and not excessive taxation which will impoverishment of the people of Enugu State.
“Whereas we applaud his profound inaugural address in which he said, ‘I recommit myself to employment generation, enhanced social services and good governance, rural development and indeed, security and justice. We will deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment. We will drive with full force, the investment promotion, agricultural sector renewal, provision of critical infrastructure, human capital development and skill acquisition’;
“However, Enugu State Chapter of APC is at a loss that in the five point strategies listed by His Excellency on how to implement the 2016 Budget, no mention was made of the recovery of looted funds.’
“Going further the party opined, rather than convoke a high powered Judicial Panel of Inquiry to recover billions siphoned by the Chime administration on funds meant to educate our children, what we got from our dear governor is kid glove treatment he dished out in his Budget address, saying, ‘To boost the quality of the learning environment in our public secondary schools in line with the promise we made in our inaugural address, we set up an Administrative committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo to look into the issue of ENSUBEB projects in our primary schools and related matters.’
“How on earth and under which legal framework can an Administrative Committee recover billions scandalously looted in an orchestrated and unbridled corruption depicted in the open brawl between Lady Ethel Nebo Ezeabasili and Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo, then Chief of Staff and Chime’s alter ago?”
“Is it not Nollywood tactics to expect the Administrative Committee to unravel even the 2nd ENSUBEB’s scandalous gross corrupt practices, in which Enugu State House of Assembly graciously passed a resolution and invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate allegations of financial recklessness against the then Executive Chairperson, Miss Nneka Onuora?” Mrs. Offor queried.
The Enugu State APC spokesperson maintained that the recovery of looted funds is the best way to raise funds to augment the dwindling oil revenue accruing to the State from Federation Account and not excessive taxation of the people. The excessive taxation is counter productive and paradoxical to the laudable projections in the budget.
APC went further to doubt the sincerity of Governor Ugwuanyi to provide quality service and critical infrastructure to the good people of Enugu State, when his priorities tend geared only to cover the track of Chime and accordingly funding some White Elephant projects abandoned by the regime, like the new Ultra-Modern-State-Secretariat Complex and new Governor’s office.
She equally raised some posers: “Otherwise why did Ugwuanyi take this anti-people’s route? Is it collective amnesia that Ugwuanyi and his team forgot that the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Enugu State Chapter petitioned the EFCC over the financial irregularities which bedeviled the award of the new Ultra-Modern Enugu State Secretariat Complex?
“Is it not incongruous for our dear governor to sweep the subsisting matter under the carpet? Or why is the Secretariat and the new Governor’s office top priority or the best way for the reputable workers whose children are suffering from gross unemployment to be happy?”
“Finally, we challenge Governor Ugwuanyi to focus the resources at his disposal to projects which will provide thousands of youths employment like the Nachi Oil Mill, Ogbede Aluminum factory and other state owned enterprises instead of the aforementioned White Elephant projects”, the party further stated. (The Easterner, Daily Post)