· As mixed reaction trails sack of former GM
The Special Adviser to the governor and New General Manager of Owerri Captial Development Authority (OCDA), Engineer Francis Onyedikachi Chukwu has in his bid to sanitize the organization introduced new innovation and made sweeping changes aimed at moving the authority forward and at the same time re-instated Mrs Edith Obijiaku as the Director of Administration and Finance (DAF).
The sweeping changes according to the media unit of the authority are as follows:
Suspension of all OCDA issued receipts and immediate direction of all OCDA payments to the TSA account including INSPECTION, MISCELLANEOUS, RENOVATION AND ADOPTION FEES and immediate dissolution of all special taskforces/tactical teams, GM’s Taskforce, Compliance, and Enforcement Team and Debt recovery etc. as well as the suspension of Quality Control Unit, Heads of departments and various team leaders are also to submit all government properties, operational vehicles, seized items to the GM’s office.
Other changes include; suspension of insurance of OCDA receipt, pending a comprehensive review by OCDA Management team, Town planning department and Accounts should please take note.
All OCDA consultants are to submit all government properties, records of seized items and uncollected OCDA payment receipts to the office of the Revenue Collection Agency’s chairman (Sir Chidi Obioha) on or before Friday 26th November 2021. To curtail fraud and falsification, new electronic receipts with micro chips will be used henceforth.
In another development the Special Adviser/General Manager Engr. Francis Onyedikachi Chukwu, has reinstated Mrs. Edith Obijiaku as the Director of Administration and Finance, while Mrs. Adaugo Okwara returns as the Public Relations Officer, and Sir Chidi Obioha retained as Revenue Collection Agent (RCA).
The OCDA Boss has also constituted a 7-man taskforce, that includes; PRINCE CHINOMSO NWEMEH- Head of Operations, Chidiebere Agu, SA to GM OCDA Head of Operations,Uchenna Anaege,(Team Leader Owerri West),Nwokocha Kenneth U.( Team Leader Owerri Municipal),Stanley Esiowu,(Team Leader Owerri North),and Nze Uche Mbagwu,(Team Leader Mbaitoli).
Engr. Chukwu however stated that he will welcome constructive ideas that will enhance progress and improve the reputation of the agency.
Meanwhile,there have been mixed reactions from members of the public, mainly Owerri residents following the recent sudden removal from office of the former General Manager of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) Engr Innocent Ikpamezie as some accuse him of arrogance and high handedness. Others allege that he acted ultra vires sometimes without human feeling hence his sack has given the state Governor Sen Hope Uzodinma for the prompt riddance of turbulent waters.
Governor Uzodinma had recently terminated the appointment of Engr Ikpemezie and replaced him with the appointment of Engineer Francis Onyedikachi Chukwu as new Special Adviser and General Manager of OCDA with immediate effect and directed that all handover formalities be completed by close of work on Friday November 19.
Though it was not clear the reasons for the sudden removal but feelers from the workers of the authority as well as members of the public indicate that the former General Manager who was always on hand to justify his harsh and inhuman treatment to people deserve the sack and commended the governor for his action to save the image of his administration.
There tends to be shocking revelations about sordid actions during the tenure of the former OCDA boss. For instance an insider was quoted as saying that the former General Manager acting contrary to government directives of operating and maintaining “Treasury Single Account” went ahead to open and operate three separate accounts for Owerri Capital Development Authority.
Our source also revealed that there were cases of land racketeering perpetuated by him within the authority during his tenure including plots in Areas captioned in the government white paper on the report of the Justice Iheka panel set up by the Ihedioha administration on land and related matters mainly in Area H of World Bank and other places.
It was gathered that this and others were reasons for his sack by the governor. A particular case worthy of mention is what transpired at New Owerri where a landlord unable to eject tenants and squatters in his property paid the sum of N15million to eject everybody in the area.
The former GM was said to be operating with 80 personal aides and when confronted about this anomaly, he was quick to state that the army of aides were not being paid but depended on tips they collected from people for their upkeep.
Another section of the Imo populace,especially those on the social media space are of the opinion that Ikpamezie performed exceedingly and deserves some accolade having transformed the agency while in the office.