By Jennifer John
Imo State Government has disclosed that schools would not reopen until the community testing for COVID 19 in the state was concluded.
This was part of the resolution of the state executive council meeting, presided over by the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma at the Sam Mbakwe expanded executive chambers, Imo State Government House, Owerri and communicated to newsmen through a press briefing by the commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba.
He said it was important to know the exact COVID 19 status of the state before the resumption of schools and expressed joy that results of a thousand test samples of the ongoing COVID 19 community testing by USAID in six LGAs was encouraging, as only twenty-four tested positive for the disease, noting that I was one of nine states religiously conducting the tests in the country.
Other resolutions of the exco meeting as communicated by the information commissioner included; banning in its entirety, all sales of emblems to drivers by Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), state or local government taskforces with immediate effect, warning that defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted.
According to the commissioner, “Council also reiterated that all MDAs must stop all cash collections or payments in the revenue sector, as the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), was the only agency in charge of all revenue matters and further directed all the MDAs to submit their revenue heads to the BIR, as the state does not recognise any revenue consultants.
“Council warned that any person claiming to collect revenue in any form or guise for the state would be arrested and prosecuted as security monitoring team would be set up to ensure strict adherence to the directive.
“Other issues discussed by the council included the construction of modern primary schools in the 305 wards by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), in partnership with the state government, where there are dilapidated or no existing schools. The schools will be equipped with quality libraries, Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres, regular water and power supply, among other facilities”.
The Information commissioner revealed that Imo has qualified for the World Bank $20m (twenty million Dollars) SAFTAS fund, having met all required conditions which included; transparency in financial management, prudence with available resources and published online financial statement of accounts for the year by September 2020.