Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed banks operating in the state to work with state government officials to reconcile all Rivers State Government bank accounts with a view to stopping all revenue leakages.
Governor Wike also announced that the Rivers State Government will introduce a new tax policy to ensure the improvement of the state’s revenue base.
Speaking while meeting with bank executives operating in Rivers State at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday, the governor further directed the banks to close all dormant accounts of the state government and deposit the funds in approved functional accounts.
“Let all the banks work with our officials to reconcile our accounts so that we stop revenue leakages.
“We will close accounts that are not necessary. We will only operate accounts that are necessary for the development of the state “, he said.
He said that banks found to be frustrating the state government’s efforts to generate revenue will be duly sanctioned and their certificate of occupancy revoked.
He noted that each Ministry can only operate one account, while the other functional accounts should be closed.
The governor added that no government agency should open an account without the authorisation of the State Accountant General.
Explaining the need for a new tax policy in the state, Governor Wike noted that it is in line with the fact that the country is operating a Federal System of Government.
Governor Wike enjoined the banks to stop paying other charges, until after the harmonisation of taxes. He, however, said they should still pay the pay as you earn (PAYE).
In his remarks, Acting Chairman of the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Alawari Ndu regretted that most banks in the state have made revenue generation quite challenging.
Most of the banks at the meeting assured Governor Wike that they will cooperate with the Rivers State Government to improve its revenue generation capacity.