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IGR of Enugu Tourism Board grew to 243 per cent in my one-year – former GM

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The former General Manager of Enugu State Tourism Board, Chief Steve Odo, says under his watch, the Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Board grew to 243 per cent increase in his first one year in office.

 

Odo disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Sunday while revealing the verifiable standard and other milestone achievements and records he set at the Board, which he said he met comatose.

 

According to him, during my first one year in office, the Board’s IGR increased from N2,571,000 in 2020 to N6,263,000 in 2021 (243.6 percent) representing 143.6 per cent increase.

“In 2022, we generated the sum of N5,591,000 which is less than the previous year due to sit-at-home syndrome etc. However, this amount represents 217.5 per cent and an increase of 117.5 per cent of what was generated in 2020 before I took over.

“In compliance with the Enugu State Tourism Law 2013 Section (18); I submitted detailed progress reports to his Excellency, the Governor, through the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism every year as required by Law for the two years of my service”.

“Before I took over, there was not even one hotel captured in the entire Enugu North and Enugu West Senatorial Zones as a result hotels and other tourism-related enterprises were not aware of their responsibilities to the board requiring first that we have to create awareness which we embarked on and achieved.

“We have captured about 150 hotels (big and small) in the two senatorial zones and registration/classification is ongoing.

“This, added to that of Enugu East Senatorial Zone, comes to about 494 hotels (big and small) captured in the entire state,” he said.

This, he said, was against a total of 150 hotels captured before I took over; while registration and classification of hotels were also ongoing before I handed over.

The former general manager said that the Board’s Audited Accounts by an External Auditor was last done in 2013, which was nine years in arrears.

“However, within my two years in office, the Board’s Audited Accounts have been completed up to Dec. 31, 2022, and the external auditors paid fully.

“I also met a workforce with the lowest ebb of staff morale with over 80 per cent record of absenteeism and left a highly-motivated workforce with less than 20 per cent of absenteeism,” he said.

Odo noted that before he took over, the Board’s monthly overhead/subvention was far less than the basic salary of workers, adding that through financial data collection and reports to relevant arms of government, we were able to secure adequate monthly subvention and overhead.

He revealed that the office had been in darkness since the closure of Hotel Presidential but he restored light (electricity) and procured a meter for the office.

He said: “There were no functional toilets in all the offices of the Board, but I resuscitated the eight toilets in the offices.

“It is on record that I initiated payment of staff pensions since the inception of the Board and have no record of arrears up to the month of May, 2023, when I handed over.

“No retired staff of tourism board was being owed up till the date we were all asked to handover.”

“The World Tourism Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 27 by tourism stakeholders all over the World, was first celebrated by the Board during my first year of service.”

Odo said that during his period in office, the Board launched a functional website on a special arrangement with a firm – Arichi Global Synergy – who have commenced registration and digitalization processes with the hotels before we were abruptly asked to land over.

The former general manager said that he started the remittance of staff salary (PAYE) deductions to the State Board of Internal Revenue Service (EBIRS), which hitherto was being retained due to paucity of funds.

According to him, “my passion for hospitality and interest in Staff Welfare made me introduce End-of -Year Christmas Party for members of staff every Dec. 22 for the period I served.”

He said that “Enugu State is a hidden treasure of tourism,” and urged the new state administration to focus on creating an enabling environment that will encourage private investors to partner with government to achieve sustainable tourism development in Enugu State.”

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Bandits shoot 40 dead, sack Plateau community

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Bandits in their numbers reportedly attacked Zurak village in Bashar District of Wase local government area of Plateau State, killing more than 40 persons, including vigilantes.

 

According to residents of the community, the incident occurred around 5: pm, on Monday, when people were going about their normal activities.

 

The residents said but they could not immediately report the incident due to the poor communication network in the area.

According to Sahpi’i Sambo, a youth leader in the area, who also confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, the bandits arrived at the community on motorcycles – two on a bike – with sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically.

He said “More than 40 people were killed while many injured. Residents of the village have fled to neighbouring communities for cover. As of yesterday, security personnel had not yet arrived at the community. It was deadly,” Sambo said.

Spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Alabo Alfred, had not responded to inquiry by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.

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Ex-Sports Minister laments after hospital neglected him for hours over N80000 deposit

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A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has recounted how a hospital in Plateau State did not attend to him because of the non-payment of the admission deposit.

 

Dalung said he fell ill on Wednesday, May 8, and went to the unnamed hospital for treatment but that the hospital refused to give him treatment because he had yet to make an admission deposit despite holding his medical records. The former minister said he regained partial consciousness later and transferred the deposit before he was attended to.

 

“I took ill on Wednesday, arrived at the hospital & shortly became unconscious after doctor’s interviews. Was ferried into emergency ward but abandoned for over 4 hrs due to non payments of admission deposits. Regained partial consciousness later did the transfer of deposit.

After that, I fell into unconsciousness again for about 7 hours. To God be the glory, I have been discharged after 3 days & recovering. Were it not for partial consciousness to pay the deposits, I would have been Mr. late. Many Nigerians have gone this way. Where is our humanity?

I was then admitted into the ward and given medical attention. This is the hospital that has my medical records. The last medical checkup I did about 2 months ago was there, but suddenly, I became a stranger because of non payments of deposits even with the so-called name. Hmmmm”

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