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The end to indiscriminate disposal of waste may be in sight for Owerri residents, as the Imo State Government has vowed to stop such practice in the state capital. To this end, the government has established measures to check the excesses of those who deliberately violate environmental rules with wastes they generate from their businesses with their concomitant health hazards.
Specifically, the Imo State Government frowned seriously at the manner Hotels and Eateries in the State dispose Sewage into waterways, saying such could no longer be tolerated.
Briefing newsmen after the regular weekly Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 presided over by the Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodimma, Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said that the Exco not only frowned at the improper disposal of waste by Hotels and Eateries into waterways, but that government had taken steps to deal with the situation.
He said that a committee had been set up to look at the location of the various Hotels and Eateries in the state capital and ascertain whether they are located and built on the appropriate places, and that any one not sited at the right place according to the Owerri Master Plan would not only be sealed-up but the owners of such Hotels, Eateries and Event Centres wpuld be held accountable, arrested and prosecuted according to ENTRACO Law No. 3.
Mbadiwe was joined at the briefing by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Damaris Osunkwo, Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Iyke Njoku, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Barr. (Mrs.) Doris Akubue-Onyeali, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Chuck Chuckemeka, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Sanitation, Dr. Elias Emedom and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku,
Emelumba said Council also directed the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) of the State to take appropriate steps to implement the necessary tax obligations (including consumption tax of the Hotels, Eateries and Event Centres to the State government, noting that any of them that fails to cooperate with officials of the BIR as regards payment of their appropriate taxes risked their facility being sealed.
The Commissioner also said the Exco considered the steps so far taken towards the full recovery of Eastern Palm University (EPU) that belongs to Imo State and directed the Hon. Commissioner for Education to develop appropriate programmes and make recommendations to the government on the consummation of the ownership and take-over .
However, Exco regretted that the forms government issued to the Public Servants to fill to facilitate the capturing of their data for social security implementation had been subjected to fraudulent abuse by many of those who had already filled the forms.
Emelumba explained that most of the teachers who collected and filled the forms for the Imo State Social Security Number forged the document they returned to government.
Warned he: “They are however given seven days (one week) to effect the necessary corrections and return the forms to the appropriate places or be ready to face the music”.
Emelumba further informed that Exco directed the Ministry of Lands and Survey to start immediate implementation of the Whitepaper on Land Use in the State.