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Cash payments will no longer be accepted in the ministries, departments and agencies of the Imo State Government, going forward.

By this, Imo people have been put on notice against encouraging or partaking in revenue leakages as the Government has stopped the issuance of cash receipts for any form of transaction. All payments must be done through the Bank which must go through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

These were part of the decisions of the Imo State Executive Council (EXCO) at our weekly meeting which I presided over.

To this end, all Ministries Departments and Agencies have been warned to desist from accepting cash on any payment belonging to the Government and anyone who violates these laid down rules will face very unpleasant consequences.

Exco noted that financial regulations are very important and strict adherence to their enforcement will be adequately followed. Therefore, anyone who is asked to pay cash for any government transaction should report to the Ministry of Finance or the Chairman of Imo Internal Revenue Service (IIRS)

In another development, Imo State is ready to receive the Covid-19 vaccine before the end of the week. Our Government has put in place the necessary conditions for the supply which include: preserving the vaccine in the 305 INEC Wards of the State with solar powered refrigerators.

Also, Government has also released a reasonable amount of money for the training of those who will carry out the vaccinations as many people will be captured in the first phase of the programme.

EXCO has again, re-emphasized the timely empowerment of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Imo State, to carry out the full implementation of recovery of all lands and property of Government based on the whitepaper report on violation of Owerri Master Plan.

However, EXCO noted that owners of the Ekwema Crescent layout which was illegally allotted to people by the Okorocha administration without any law are fortunate as the Government did not revoke their lands. Government has ordered that the land be returned to the original owners and anything developed on such land belongs to the owners.

On the old IBC quarters at Orji in Owerri where former Governor Rochas Okorocha built his Rochas Foundation College, Government emphasized that the property belongs to the Government and has been marked for full recovery.

In the same vein, Council observed the distortion of the New Owerri Master Plan and noted that the current administration is poised to recover the area and warned that any structure which is not on the original Master Plan will be demolished.

Furthermore, it was discovered by EXCO that the Government of Okorocha allotted the Imo State Government Layouts in Orlu to his family, friends and cronies. The government will definitely recover that layout as part of those property illegally acquired.

It is noteworthy that the Government has obtained a court order permitting her to recover every property illegally acquired by former Governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha. Therefore, Government has given Sen. Okorocha till April 21, 2021 to come and show prove of ownership of the said properties or it will be finally forfeited to the State Government.

Finally, it is cheering to note that the Nigerian Medical Association has finally called off their Industrial Strike which has lasted for so long. The doctors called off the strike on February 23, 2021. It is believed that such gesture will bring about industrial harmony between the doctors and the government.

-Hope Uzodimma

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Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to streamline the existing sorghum varieties in the country to enhance Self-sufficiency, income generation, Food and Nutrition Security amongst others.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar revealed this while receiving report of the Sorghum Technical Committee, in his office, in Abuja, recently.

He stated that the objective of streamlining the existing sorghum varieties was to find other ways of improving productivity, value addition and quality of sorghum produce, noting that the exercise was crucial as it would enhance farmer’s income, attract more youth to sorghum cultivation, meet national demand as well as contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product.

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Following the success of the MultiChoice (www.MultiChoice.com) Africa Accelerator (https://bit.ly/3OtthRz) Programme, which secured $16 million (USD) of funding for six emerging businesses last year, the programme has been expanded to eight more countries across Africa.

 

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Spark Africa, The African Technology Leader has announced the company’s readiness to host the African Technology Expo, a gathering of tech enthusiasts and stakeholders with the aim of promoting indigenous African talents and innovations.

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