The Imo State House of Assembly, IMHA will be raking in a princely sum of N68.4 million naira from the recent autonomous communities verification tour embarked upon by its committee on Local Government, Autonomous Communities and Chieftaincy Affairs headed by Hon. Aurther Egwim of Ideato North State Constituency.
But as the legislature is allegedly smiling to the bank with this fat pay cheque the autonomous communities, making the payment are grumbling and complaining of being over-taxed by the various arms of the state government.
Sources have it that the ongoing tour approved by State House of Assembly is geared toward verifying the six hundred and sixty eight autonomous communities of the state to prepare the ground for the proposed merging of communities that could not satisfy conditions for autonomous status.
It was gathered that the Committee after getting the nod of the House immediately came up with the idea of printing and selling verification form to the communities of the state at the rate of N100,000 per community.
However, it was further gathered that the committee in an attempt to cover its track told the communities that the form was not for sale while insisting that payment made was to take care of the fuelling of the cars of the committee members therefore would not be receipted.
An executive of one of the communities visited so far who craved anonymity said they went to the House to make the payment but were not issued receipt which they demanded for as the Assembly staff who collected the money told them bluntly that the money was fuel money.
Also another community leader from Orlu Zone who also pleaded anonymity complained that this latest cash payment is one too many as most of them paid through the nose to get autonomy from the state government wondering why they were again paying for a process that could lead to the loss of the same autonomy they paid through the nose to get.
When contacted on phone the chairman of the committee, Barr. Egwim said the verification tour was in exercise of the power of oversight conferred on the House by the 1999 Constitution as amended, which empowered it to oversight its creations.
He said as the chairman of the committee he was unaware of any such cash payment saying the allegation was not only the figment of imagination of those bandying it but also totally unfounded.