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Alleged fraud: Finance Commissioner, Others Appear Before Rivers Assembly

The Rivers State House Assembly has ordered the Special Adviser to Governor Chibuike Amaechi on Revenue Generations, Nwankwo Nwankwo, and the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Chamberline Peterside, to appear before it over the dwindling revenue base of the state.

Also summoned was the Chairman of Rivers State Internal Revenue Services Board, Mrs. Onene Osila Obele, over what was described as a ‘monumental fraud’ in the agency.

The invitation followed a motion to strengthen the internal revenue base of the state, which was presented by the Deputy Leader of the House, Robinson Ewor.

Ewor, in the motion, urged the House to strengthen the state’s revenue base to enable the chief executive meet up with the daily administration of the state.

He alleged that in the last one year, the state had witnessed a downward trend on receipt of monies accrued to the state from the Federation Account.

“From a monthly average of about N17 billion to N13 billion. This amount cannot cater for the payment of staff salaries, overheard and general administration of the state monthly.”

In his contribution, the leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd, stated that there was a monumental fraud going on at the internal revenue office, accusing the board of not making efforts to improve the revenue base of the state.

Lloyd reiterated his earlier opposition, during the screening of the chairman and members of the board, that the chairman should not occupy two positions at the same time.

He, therefore, suggested that the law establishing the board should be amended, and the chairman separated from occupying dual positions in the same institution she headed.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Leyii Kwanee, who presided over the session, mandated the Clerk of the House to write to the three officers, inviting them to their next sitting.

He warned that no excuse would be taken from any of them. “We are not ready to accept any excuse. There will be no room for excuses.”

In a related development, the House frowned at the reason given by the Commissioner for Water Resources for not appearing before the lawmakers over the $280 million water and sanitation projects.

Kwanee, again, warned that the House would not take it kindly if she failed to appear on the next sitting. The House adjourned sine dine.

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