WITH the attendant difficulty experienced in the global economy, the Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim has advocated for the expansion of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR ) sources other than taxation, adding that taxation is central to infrastructural development, recalling that in the colonial days specific companies were established to pursue investments for the regions.
Speaking at the first National Roundtable of the Governors Forum on IGR held at International Conference Centre Abuja, he stated that governments may need to cut costs to meet its obligations, such as retraining of public servants, job switching amongst others. Gov Ohakim further pointed out that governments at any level may need to institute partnership with local communities to achieve meaningful projects, adding that his administration had set up an Education Fund that accepts donations from willing citizens from the state towards improving primary education in the state.
Earlier, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Governor of Edo State in a paper titled â€œRebuilding taxpayerâ€™s confidence:
The confluence between good leadership and internally generated revenueâ€ had argued that taxation is critical to the business of governance, positing that where taxation is collected, good leadership should be able to show value for tax payers money. Comrade Oshiomole decried the total dependence on oil money which he said could throw the entire economy into undesirable situation.
He stated that it was auspicious to develop sustainable alternatives that stand as a base for delivering electoral promises, warning however that because of the poor economic situation, a leader must have the courage to enforce taxation as no Nigerian hardly agrees to civic responsibilities.
Other governors that contributed to the roundtable discussion include the Ogun State governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel who insisted that good governance was the only panacea to asking for taxation.
He condemned the iss ue of hiring non-performing tax consultants to collect taxes which he explained form another leakage on scarce funds. In his own submission, Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor stated that oil producing states need tax. He said that his administration has agreed to issue tax certificate to every tax payer for easy identification.
In an opening speech, the Chairman of the Governorâ€™s Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki urged the governors to used the opportunity of the roundtable to profer ways and means of sustaining the economy other than oil revenue.
He described this is a wakeup call towards the gradual reduction of dependence on oil economy. Dr. Bukola Saraki who spoke through the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi exhorted governors and public office holders to add value to the management of resources at all levels.
According to him, the result of the roundtable should be able to reflect on budgetary formulations especially in balancing the income and expenditure table.He expressed the hope that the roundtable will create all the needed models for tackling IGR challenges.