Godhana threatens to lay off revenue officers

The Tana River County Government will move with speed to seal all revenue leakages to enhance tax collection, Governor Dhadho Godhana has said.

Major (Rtd) Godhana said he would start off by replacing all corrupt revenue officers, who he accused of playing with the people’s resources and frustrating his development agenda.

He lamented that since the onset of devolution, the county had not managed to raise the annual Sh.40 million that the defunct County Council of Tana River used to collect, despite the county government having opened more revenue streams.

I would like to send a warning to all revenue officers that I may be forced to sack them and replace them with those who will help us move on with our development agenda, he told a public meeting in Hurara on Monday.

The highest amount of revenue by the county government since devolution is Sh.33 million (2014/2015 financial year) a factor that forced the former county administration to reduce its target for local revenue from Sh.120 million to Sh.60 million.

Governor Godhana believes that some of the monies collected go to the individual pockets of corrupt revenue officers hence the threat to declare them redundant.

It will be difficult to work with a team that cannot bring revenue in the county like others which are recording high turnout from the revenue collection, he said, adding that neighbouring Kitui and Kilifi Counties collect more than Sh.600 million and Sh.1 billion respectively.

He vowed to transform the revenue department to boost the county’s financial base, adding that the county cannot operate with the ‘measly’ allocation of about Sh.5 billion from the National coffers.

We have more needs that what can be addressed by the money from the national government, hence the need to increase our local revenues, he said.

The Governor said his administration was coming up with reforms that will help implement the transformation agenda for the county which lags behind in development.

This, he said, would be realized once he forms the county executive committee and appoints chief officers to help formulate relevant policies and oversee the day to day running of the devolved unit.

The governor later held a meeting with directors of various sections in his government and urged them to dedicate themselves in effective service delivery.

Godhana has been working with directors since he took over as governor after County Assembly threw out his first list of nominees and is still considering a new list.

Interviews for the county chief officers were also concluded last month and the list of 14 nominees is expected to be presented to the assembly when it resumes next week.

Source: Kenya News Agency