By Francis Tim Mbom
The Mayor of Idenau, Tonde Lifanje Gabriel, has said his Council, in 2021, did much to meet the needs of the people of his Municipality even though the Council’s revenue collection dropped by FCFA 43 million.
Major Tonde Gabriel was speaking on Wednesday, May 18, as his councillors sat in the Council’s first ordinary session for 2022 to examine what they raised as revenue in 2021 and how it was spent.
His presentation stated that, out of FCFA 805.528 million budgeted for 2021, the Council only succeeded to collect FCFA 509.888 million as revenue. This amount fell short of what they collected in 2020 as revenue which stood at FCFA 553 million.
Mayor Tonde said the drop was owing to the fact that the National Council Support Fund, FEICOM, failed to provide them with a certain budgeted allocation which could have made up for the shortage they recorded in 2021. The money had to cover the financing for the construction of a grand stand at Idenau, a motor Park, and a banquet hall, among others.
He blamed the fall in revenue on some constraints, among them the stop in the exportation of the popular leafy vegetable known locally as ‘eru’, to Nigeria. The Council used to fetch quite some money in the form of tax levies to the exporters of this vegetable in the past. But, since the onset of the Anglophone Crisis, the exporters who were mostly from the Centre region have stopped coming owing to insecurity.
Even with the drop in revenue collection, Mayor Tonde said the Council still did much to meet the pressing needs of the people including the construction of a bore hole at Bibunde for the supply of potable water to the community.
Besides, he named the construction of two new classrooms at GS Group II, Idenau, the signing of a convention for the construction of low cost houses at Idenau. Financial assistance to some primary and nursery schools across Idenau and the construction of gutters and culverts on the main road that links Bibunde quarters to the CDC Palm Oil Mill.
The Mayor expressed hope that the projects that were to be carried out in 2021 with expected funding from FEICOM might be done this year, if FEICOM honours its payment. This notwithstanding, he called on his councillors for collaboration so that, together, they can move their municipality ahead.
The Councillors, after a thorough examination of the accounts presented to them by the Mayor, voted and approved them. They, nevertheless, advanced some recommendations in order to better guide the Mayor and his staff in the management of the Council in 2022.
The session was presided at by the Divisional Officer of Idenau, Ngong Ngai Stephen, who represented the Fako SDO. He called on the councillors to do all to collaborate with the Mayor in finding solutions to the development difficulties confronting them so that they can, together, provide solutions to the problems facing their Municipality for the benefit of their people.