By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has urged citizens of the State to be faithful in paying their taxes as the era of depending on revenue from the federation account alone is no more tenable.
Lalong who spoke in Jos on Thursday at the inauguration of the State Revenue Council and the Governing Council of the State Internal Revenue Service said the step is a milestone in a journey towards improving revenue generation and self-sufficiency.
According to him, “This event provides me an opportunity to set the tone for the full implementation of the new Plateau State (Consolidated) Revenue Law, also known as the Revenue Law 2020, which I expeditiously assented to, in November 2020. It is no longer news that there has been a remarkable decline in revenue allocation to States, from the Federation Account.
“This is primarily occasioned by the continuous fall in crude oil prices in the international market, and most recently, the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world for over a year now. Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our administration has continued to make frantic efforts towards improving the revenue profile of the State by looking inwards for more internally generated revenue. Instructively, experts’ projections indicate that Plateau State has an internal revenue capacity of more than N5 Billion Naira per month.
“This explains why before the disruption caused by COVID-19, our administration was able to jerk up its Internally Generated Revenue from about six hundred million naira monthly in 2015 to about nine hundred million in 2019. This shows that the projection by experts is in the right direction and we can actually do far more than we have been doing if we put our house in order.”
The Council shall be responsible for coordinating all revenue activities in the State; making policies, regulations and guidelines on revenue matters; setting up structures for whistle blowing; reviewing revenue rates as well as identifying other sources of funding for the state.
The Governor added that, “In order to ensure that revenues do not go into the wrong hands, the new approach will be totally driven by technology where there will be real time monitoring of collections at all levels. We shall do everything possible to make life easier for tax payers in our State. Already, we have put in place various measures to block leakages, and enhance transparency and accountability in resource management.”