By Our Reporter
The Chairman of Gboko Local Government, James Kachina and members of the legislative arm of the council are locked in a bitter war of words, over the way and manner revenues in the Local Government Council are being collected.
While the councilors in a statement announced the suspension of revenue collection in the local government over what they called, “too many irregularities & malpractices in the process,” the chairman of the council, Kachina dismissed the alleged suspension as “not only belated, (but) it is inconsequential and tantamount to flogging a dead horse; an exercise in futility”
The councilors had through a statement issued by Comr. Paul Tema, Media Aide to Leader, Gboko Legislative Council, alleged that the Gboko Local Government Council Legislature suspended revenue collection when they discovered too many irregularities and malpractices in the process.
“The legislature found out that, Revenue in Gboko is not been (sic) remitted to Local Government’s treasury but paid on (sic) hand and fake receipts were also used in harassing Gboko traders. The legislature noticed again that, some segments of the revenue are privatised and others contracted to individuals as they pay a huge sum at once, takes (sic) over such segment and local government is left with nothing from such segment which is unhealthy for the development of the local government.
“Going by the above, the legislature had on 10th December, 2020, moved a motion through Hon Apeeza Jeremiah who is the House Committee Chairman on Revenue, for probing of the Revenue Department in Gboko. This was after all efforts to get clarification from the chairman behind the scene on why such ugly occurrences proved abortive.
“The House wrote and invited the relevant authorities in the revenue department to appear before her for probing. The Council Chairman rather replied through the DGSA, saying these revenue collectors are involved in preparing and defending Gboko Local Government’s Budget in Bureau and will be doing that for the next one month.
“After chairman Kachina announced the suspension of revenue collection in Gboko and chased the initial revenue collectors out of the market, others are fraudulently contracted or engaged to be collecting taxes to a personal pocket, the house is fully aware of such deceit and crime”, the statement noted.
But in swift reaction, the Special Assistant to the Chairman on Media and Publicity, Abraham Ayangakuma said the purported suspension of revenue collection by councillors was an exercise in futility because they lack such powers to do so.
He noted that “the Gboko Local Government Executive Council headed by Hon. James Kachina had more than three weeks ago suspended revenue collection in Gboko Local Government Area and directed all revenue collectors to return all revenue receipts in their possession to the Local Government stores.
“This announcement suspending revenue collection was aired on Ashiwaves FM, Katsina – Ala, Town Crier in Gboko as well as all Social Media platforms. Members of the public are already aware of this fact and Revenue Collectors have already returned all receipts in their possession to the Local Government stores and are waiting for the next line of action. This means there was no revenue collection at the time the Gboko Legislature issued a statement stopping it.
“We wonder whether the Gboko Legislature closed her ears to this well circulated announcement that received applause from members of the public. So the celebrated action of the House purportedly suspending revenue collection in Gboko is not only belated, it is inconsequential and tantamount to flogging a dead horse; an exercise in futility!” the statement added.
He stated that rather than antagonize the council chairman, the councilors should have commended him for his bold and wise decision suspending revenue collection.
“We had expected the Legislature to write a letter of commendation to the Executive Chairman of the Council applauding him for that wise and bold decision of suspending revenue collection and not to make another statement on a matter that had been laid to rest.
“We also hasten to add that on assumption of office in June last year, the Executive Chairman, Hon. James Kachina gave a grace period of six months to observe the revenue generation strategy/ machinery by the Local Government and was not satisfied. So the suspension of revenue collection by the Council Chairman was meant to avail Council the opportunity to re -strategise and come out with a better revenue collection strategy that would move the Local Government forward.
“Hon. Kachina reiterates that the celebrated action of the Legislature suspending revenue collection in Gboko is coming rather belatedly and is tantamount to flogging a dead horse. The statement is therefore inconsequential as there was no revenue collection even before their public statement on the matter” the statement concluded.