By Vincent Ujumadu
GOVERNOR Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State is unhappy with the level of revenue generation in the state, lamenting that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, is still disappointingly low.
The governor, who spoke during the inauguration of the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue in Awka, described IGR as the life-blood of all government operations, arguing that if it does not work, then nothing works.
According to him, the results of the state’s IGR since his assumption of office were not even close to 50% of what he anticipated to achieve, adding that he expected to have the revenue body double its initial revenue within its first four months, which, he added, did not happen.
He said: “The state government should be making more than three billion naira per month, which has yet to happen. The 2023 budget is expected to generate four billion naira per month, but the Anambra state government is running a deficit on IGR, which is one of the key projections.
“FAAC allocations are unpredictable, but we have an economy with an estimated value of up to five trillion naira.
“It is critical to highlight the enormous potentials that exist, as well as the appropriate benchmarks and targets.
“If we have a five trillion naira estimate and collect 1%, that is 60 billion naira per year. If we collect 2%, that’s 120 billion naira per year, or a minimum of ten billion naira per month on average. If we receive 5% of income, we will have 300 billion naira per year.
“As of Monday, we were dangling around one billion naira per month, which is extremely low.. You can see how far we are doing in relation to the potentials that exist.
“The internal revenue service requires a 180 percent turnaround. The current path we are taking will not get us very far because we have been trying it for a year. This board must get to work right away because there is a lot of work ahead.”
Soludo said the state government will be interfacing and evaluating the performance of the board every three months, warning that “If this board fails, we will disband it and create a new one”.
The terms of reference of the board, which
has Mr. Richard Madiebo as its chairman include:
*Providing general policy guidelines regarding the functions of the State Internal Revenue Service and supervising implementation of such policies;
*Ensuring effective and optimum collection of all revenue, including levies and penalties due to the state government under the relevant federal and state laws;
*Doing things necessary and expedient for the assessment and collection of all revenue;
*Accounting for all amounts so collected in a manner to be prescribed by the governor; and
*Making recommendations where appropriate to the Joint Tax Board on tax policy, tax reform, tax registration, tax treaties and exemption, as may be required from time to time.
The Executive Directors of the Board include Dr. Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo for Anambra South, Dr. Christian Madubuko for Anambra North and Mr. Benjamin Anierobi Okafor for Anambra Central, with the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ifeatu Onejeme, Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Ofornze Amucheazi and Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Pat Igwebuike as members.
Others are Mr. Don Adizuo, Secretary/Head of Legal Dept., Mr. Chika Oformma, Head of Assessment and Mrs. Juliet Nwakpudolu, Head of High Net Individual Assessment Department.
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