(By Silas Tamuno) -The chairman of Andoni Local Government Council in Rivers state, Hon. Paul Lawrence says his administration has been unable to execute infrastructural projects after more than two years in office because of inadequate federal allocations and lack of internally generated revenue.
The Andoni council boss bared his mind in Port Harcourt during an interactive session with Andoni Practicing Journalists Association, a group of indigenous practicing journalists in the state, stressing that the 130 million Naira that he got from the federal government monthly could barely service payment of salaries and over heads costs of running the council.
Describing the wage bill of the the council as overbearing he said that, out of the average monthly allocation of 130 million Naira, that the council on monthly bases, spent over a 100 million on salaries and 66 million on overhead cost.
“Since we can’t access up to N170M from federal allocation, we simlpy dropped some of our overheads and those who were supposed to benefit from such cost are not pleased with my strategy.
“Like the case with my vice chairman who on several instances accused me of starving her office of imprest.
“How do you expect the vice chairman to have imprests when even I the Chairman have denied myself of imprests. My major interests has been purging the area of cultism and insecurity, a task I have hugely invested on,” he added.
The council boss also said that his administration inherited over a 100million Naira, a debt which, according to him, has been successfully cleared.
He however added that the council is not indebted to any individual or banks.
The Andoni council chairman further explained that during his electioneering campaign, he only promised to strengthen security in the area and not to embark on projects, adding that he has delivered on his promise.
Speaking on absence of internally generated revenue in the area, the council chairman said that the federal government onshore offshore dichotomy has a negative effect on revenue drive in the area.
“Andoni LGA has over 160 oil wells but virtually all of them are offshore and the laws of the federal government stipulates that all offshore oil wells exclusively belongs to the federal government.
“This means that Andoni despite hosting several oil facilities on its coast couldn’t benefit from the huge taxes and royalities from these companies thereby, making it impossible for the LGA to generate revenue internally,” he emphasized