States Must Redouble Efforts to Boost IGR—Sani Bello
By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State has called on his colleagues to redouble their efforts in improving their revenues for them to embark on projects that will improve the lives of the people.
Speaking on on Monday in Minna, the state capital while declaring open the Technical workshop on ‘The Assessment of and Evaluation of the Various Revenue Reforms Introduced by the Revenue Generating Agencies,’ the Governor noted that improving the IGR in states would enable state governments to carryout infrastructural and social investment programs.
He said Niger State, on its own part, has engaged in massive re-evaluation of its revenue sources with the aim of improving its IGR and blocking leakages.
According to Mr Sani-Bello, “There is no doubt that the quantum of internally generated revenue for some of our states calls for redoubling of efforts to drive revenue for infrastructural and social investment programmes to improve the quality of lives of the people. There is still so much to be done despite some modest achievements in most states.
“For us in Niger State, we have since engaged in a process of massive reassessment of our internal revenue sources with a target of improving the volume of collections, blocking leakages as well ensuring the effective and judicious use of the revenues.”
He stated that the revenue reform process in the state focuses on the automation of the process of collection, blockage of leakages and tax base both in terms of number and variety of taxation sources.
Governor Sani-Bello also disclosed that the state is concentrating on agriculture and the mineral resources available in the state so as to help improve and sustain the economy of the state, adding that the ongoing reconciliation of data between Niger State, FCT and Nasarawa State will increase the revenue of the state by N400 million monthly.
“We have placed more emphasis on our key areas of comparative advantage, which are in agricultural value chain, abundant mineral resources and our proximity to the FCT.”
“We have completed the enumeration of taxpayers resident in the state but working in the FCT with a view to further strengthening our PAYE resources.
“In this regard, we are presently in the process of reconciliation of data between Niger State, FCT and Nasarawa State and the exercise is expected to increase our revenue earnings by up to N400M monthly,” he added.
Earlier, the Accountant General of the Federation, who was represented by MrSabo Mohammed, said the revenue reform matter is of great concern to his office.
He itemised Treasury Single Account; Electronic platform for the collection of Federal Government Revenue; Modernization of the Internal Audit; the Adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards as some of the reforms introduced by government.
In his remarks, Mr Shetimma Abba-Gana, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission who was represented by Mr Ken Kayana said the workshop was timely considering the current economic challenges.
He has however assured that the FAAC Post Mortem subcommittee would take cognisance of all the points raised in the workshop and has called on the participants to be actively involved in all the deliberations.