By Seriki Adinoyi
The Plateau State Government has inaugurated Revenue Council and Governing Board of the state Internal Revenue Service, disclosing that it is aiming at higher internally generated revenue (IGR) in the state.
Performing the inauguration, Governor Simon Lalong described the event as another milestone in the journey of the state towards improved revenue generation and self-sufficiency.
He said the inauguration sets the tone for the full implementation of the new Plateau State Consolidated Revenue Law, also known as the Revenue Law 2020, which he assented to in November 2020.
Lalong said: “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 per month. This explains why before the disruption caused by COVID-19, our administration was able to jack 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 governor explained that in line with his resolve to improve the revenue profile of the state, his administration engaged Compliance Professionals Plc. (CPP), a reputable tax consortium, to help steer the transformation of revenue administration across the state, including at local government levels.
This engagement led to the development and implementation of the plan to effectively transit from the current state to a harmonized internal revenue generation and collection system, thereby improving efficiency and effectiveness and significantly increasing bottom lines.
He charged the 18-man Revenue Council chaired by him, to ensure that it works within its terms of reference to ensure that the revenue of the state improves.
The council, he said, 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; and identifying other sources of funding for the state.
Similarly, the governor inaugurated the Governing Board for the State Internal Revenue Service, appealing to all citizens to cooperate with the new revenue drive as the state has a lot of projects to carry out but needs resources. The days of looking up to Abuja, according to him, are over because the national purse is also depleted.
The governor assured the people that every dime will not only be accounted for, but used for projects and programmes that have direct impact on the lives of the people.