Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government yesterday charged various revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to redouble their efforts in the drive to improve the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the charge while declaring open the ninth Bayelsa State Tax Advisory and Review Committee (TARC) meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.
Ewhrudjakpo reminded members of the TARC team that it was high time they explored new and better ways of generating revenue in order to boost the revenue profile of the state.
He pointed out that the state was not where it’s supposed to be in terms of income generation, noting that its IGR would not rise until better methods are employed.
The deputy governor, who commended members of the committee for their support and contributions to the implementation of the present administration’s fiscal policies in 2021, implored them to be more passionate about their responsibility this year.
Ewhrudjakpo, who is the chairman of the TARC, urged the committee to scale up efforts in their revenue drive to enable the government pay workers’ salaries as at when due without depending on monthly federal allocations.
To achieve this, he said some tough and proper decisions would be taken not only to expand the state tax net but also identify and plug areas of revenue leakages in the system.
The deputy governor, however, assured the law-abiding and tax-paying public of the present administration readiness to eradicate multiple taxations as part of its investment promotion strategy.
According to him, “I want to use this opportunity to thank members of TARC for their support and contributions that took us to where we were last year, but clearly, that is not where we ought to be.
“Although we are not where we used to be, we also are not where we are supposed to be as a state in terms of IGR. This therefore means that more determination as well as passion is required for us to get there.
“If what you know cannot change you, then you have to change what you know. And so, if what we are doing cannot give us the dividends we need, then we need to change what we are doing.
“Until we forage and also explore new avenues, our revenue profile will remain what it is and we can never change. And so, we should not be afraid of daring because without daring, we cannot win.
“We should be seen to be written on the positive side of history that progress was made by the previous TARC but that better progress was made by this present TARC.”