By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has stressed the need for increased disclosures and uniformity in the standards guiding financial statements of both revenue collection and management.
The state Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Nasirudden Mohammed said that the need for uniform financial standards followed the increased collaboration, trade, commerce and emphasis on accountability and transparency in public governance.
Mohammed was speaking in Bauchi Wednesday while declaring open a two-day workshop on revenue mobilisation strategies for staff of 20 local government councils in the state.
He explained that the primary objective of the workshop is to develop a unified revenue coding standards, and to enlighten all stakeholders on revenue collection and management.
The commissioner recalled that the approval by Governor Mohammed Abubakar of the workshop was in line with his administrationâ€™s policy of revenue generation, hence the engagement in 2017 of the services of CASCADA Consultants to assist in the collection of revenues in the 20 councils of the state.
Mohammed, who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Aliyu Babayo, said however that despite the progress made in revenue collection, there is still a resistance in some areas against the engagement of CASCADA Consultants.
He attributed the resistance to the communication gap between the operation of CASCADA and other relevant government agencies especially the stakeholders, which calls for public enlightenment through workshops and seminars to educate on the operational procedures of the consultant.
Mohammed gave drivable benefits of the workshop to participants on collection, management and accountability of revenue, receipt control and insurance, leakages blockage, establishing relationship between various stakeholders, boost revenue generation, and reduce over-dependency on federal allocation.
According to him, the introduction of the consultants at local government level would bring about harmonised relationship between the three tiers of governments, and dictate the pace of adherence to the tenets of democracy, transparency and accountability, which are the hallmark of Governor Abubakarâ€™s administration.
Papers are to be presented during the two-day workshop by eminent scholars, namely â€˜Local Government Reforms and Democratic Governance in Nigerian Local Governmentsâ€™ by Yusuf Abdullahi of Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic (ATAP), Bauchi.
Also to be presented is the paper titled, â€˜Sources of Revenue Generation, Problems of Revenue Generation in Local Governments and Ways of Improving Local Government Revenue Generationâ€™, among others.
Presenting a paper at the occasion, the chairman of the state Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Jibrin Hussaini Jibo, noted that oil is now been over-stretched to the extent it cannot sustain the country, hence the need to look inward for other sources of revenue.
The board chairman outlined the challenges of revenue collection and management as lack of incentive to pursue collection, weak enforcement of revenue laws, poorly trained staff, weak internal control system, and poor records management, among others.
Jibo therefore suggested for strong enforcement process, development of revenue collection policies and procedures, prudent handling of public money, public relations, as well as hierarchical support.