By Christopher IsiguzoÂ in Enugu
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on has declared his administration’s determination to sustain policies that would help in plugging leakages in revenue accruing to the state, noting that already the state’s Internally Generated Revenue had increased from N14 billion to N18 billion.
Speaking at the commissioning of the rehabilitated state revenue centre, launching of the revenue automation project and release of operational vehicles to the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIRS), the governor said such leakages affected his government at inception.
He said paucity of funds were major challenge to the implementation of his four-point agenda, noting that although the agenda had yielded good results in the areas of rapid development and increase in the standard of living by the people of the state, the government needed to do more and thus the need to tighten the revenue sources.
He said the state adopted the pay direct system which was tailored on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) model, as well as empowered the ESIRS to eliminate corruption in its processes and ramp up IGR for the state.
The governor also directed the ESIRS to eliminate permanently manual processes in its operations, urging them to use the new order of the automation all of its activities, particularly in the collection of government revenues such as enumeration, assessment, collections, issuance of tax clearance certificates, levies, fees and other non-tax revenues by various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government.
Assessing the results the measures have yielded in the last 10 months, he said â€œthis is quite commendable given that revenues were dropping by the time we implemented these measures.
â€œThe triple events that are taking place today are designed to further deepen and strengthen ongoing reforms in the revenue service and equip the agency to meet the needs of government and serve the good people of Enugu State better.
â€œThe renovated headquarters, the revenue centre which we are commissioning today is a testimony of the governmentâ€™s resolve to build a first class revenue agency that meets the current and future needs of Enugu State.â€
The Managing Director of Byteworks Solutions Ltd, the consulting firm that handled the Enugu automation project, Mr. Edmund Ezukwu said the IGR Central System (ICS) deployed to ESIRS â€œis a scalable, portable and agile public finance automation solution that enables states and local governments manage, control, and monitor the collection of tax and other revenues generated by a state in real-time.â€Â
Ezukwu explained that the system is â€œa one-stop shop that gives state/local governments executives and public finance officials access and insight into the finances and revenues of the state both in the formal and informal sectors.
He disclosed that the system was supported by a strong analytical engine that could generate and automate standard and bespoke reports on the fly intelligence on IGR of the state, pointing out that it is â€œthe best in-class enumerations systems that helps state IRS expand the tax net to formalize the informal sectors of the state economy.â€
The Byteworks boss commended Ugwuanyi for â€œenvisioning, supporting and driving the automation project,â€ saying that â€œEnugu State government has joined the league of modern states across the worldâ€ using the system.
The Chairman of Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Emeka Odoh, said that the board had delivered on its mandate by implementing the government policies and reforms put in place to reposition the organisation to achieve efficiency and growth of the state economy.
He thanked the governor for repositioning the board, particularly with the rehabilitation of the Revenue Centre, the automation project, the acquired operational vehicles, among others.
He said that these were in line with the boardâ€™s vision to generate revenue for the government to fulfill its obligations to the people of the state.