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Peer review: Edo, Kwara, Kaduna states record about 400% IGR increase in 3 years





Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Governors of Edo, Kwara and Kaduna have said that they recorded approximately 400, 350, 150 percent increase respectively in internally generated revenue from 2015 to 2017.

While Edo moved from N600 million to N2.4 billion, Kwara from N600 million to N2.2 billion and moved from N11.8 billion to N24.5 billion.

Governors Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Malam Nasir El-Rufai, (Kaduna), spoke at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretariat 4th annual National Peer Learning Event, held on Wednesday in Abuja.

Obaseki, in his presentation on “Mobilising Domestic Financing for Development” said his state had increased its monthly IGR from N600 million to N2.4 billion currently earned.

Obasaki said what the state did was to engage revenue agents, consolidate collection into a single account and to use technology to drive both assessment and collections.

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He who said that plan of the state was to grow its IGR by 50 per cent year on year.

“Hopefully within the next three months we will have double our IGR from its current N2 billion naira per month to about 44.5 billion per month.’’

The governor added that the state IGR was linked to its infrastructure development plan, saying “you cannot improve IGR if there is no economic growth and one of the key drivers of economic growth is infrastructure.

“When you build roads, schools, hospitals, things that aid and enable businesses, you begin to see economic growth.

“As people do well, income goes up and businesses grow, then you have a basis to levy taxes which you will now has to improve the state.’’

Ahmed on his part disclosed that Kwara Statebachieve growth in its average monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N600 million in 2015 to N2.2 billion at the first quarter of 2018.

He said that state was in 2014 confronted by difficult economic challenges on account of significant drop in generated revenue and development in the global economy which impacted its revenue negatively.

Ahmed added that in that year, the defunct Kwara State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) was averaging about N600 million, which was incapable of augmenting allocations to pay salaries or fund the state infrastructure.

“In that same year, a study of the infrastructure needs of Kwara State indentified a N255 billion gap.

“This discovery led to the Kwara State Infrastructure and Financing Strategy, a comprehensive and targeted plan to systematically the infrastructure deficit.”

This, he said made the state government to embark on urgent financing strategies and reforms in its revenue generation.

These include the passage of the necessary laws, signing of the Kwara State Revenue Administration Law, and replacing the state BIR with Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).

“Based on these challenges, KWIRS achieved growth in the monthly in the monthly as of 2015 to a monthly average of N1.45 billion in 2016, a monthly average of 1.75 billion at the end 2016, and a monthly average of 2.2 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

“On account of these growths in our internal revenue, we have consistently been able to augment monthly federal allocation to ensure prompt payment of salaries.

“It also help to fund major projects, introduce new ones and pay office existing debts owed to contractors in the state.’’

Ahmed stressed that it was incumbent on all stakeholders in the governance of states to strike the necessary balance between economic and social costs of generating increased internal revenue through taxes, fees, levies and fines.

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He said that was necessary as the nation prepares for a new minimum wage law which was expected to put even greater strain on states’ finances.

El-Rufai, in his part said that the state had grow its monthly generated revenue 11.8 billion in 2015 when we took over to a total of 26.5billion in 2017.

“In 2015 we collected a total 11.8billion naira, in 2015 it jumped to N22.5b which was the first year of implementation of tax code, in 2016 it rose to N26.5b and in 2018 as at the end of October we have collected 24.5 billion.

The Kaduna Governor listed some of the steps taken to increase to state IGR was to establish a tax code, update and consolidate the state tax laws from 1914 to date, as well as engaging consultants’ service to reform the state tax agency.

He said that also include establishment of a new revenue collection agency, eliminated cash collection as well constituted Joint Tax Board between the state and its local government.

El-Rufai said that the objective of the state was to live within its means, but when he took over government was 800 to 900 million per month, while the state recurrent expenditure every month was at least N3 billion.

The post Peer review: Edo, Kwara, Kaduna states record about 400% IGR increase in 3 years appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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