By Bernard Tolani Dada, Uyo
Government of Akwa Ibom has hinted that it will boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the coming year by expanding tax net to cover all neglected areas.
The commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan, who gave the hint while speaking with newsmen in Uyo yesterday described the current state of IGR as abysmal.
He lamented the poor state of the IGR, which according to him fluctuates between N600 million and N800 million monthly except in January.
He said the state government would organize a tax summit to seek the opinion of tax experts on how to improve the current revenue base of the state and ensure that its contribution was substantial.
“We are planning a tax workshop to call on stakeholders and experts to give us suggestions because our IGR is very poor,” Nkan said.
The commissioner explained that the decision of government to make a loan provision of N105 billion in the 2018 budget estimate was aimed at ensuring a balance in the year’s budget due to poor Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
“If the state government has a need to obtain any loan, it needs to write to the House of Assembly, enumerates what the loan is needed for and the amount that is required and the House will consider, and if justified, will approve the request.
“In the course of the year, there are some money that came in, you know you cannot spend the money that was not budgeted for. And if you did not budget for the money, you still have to subject it to approval of the state House of Assembly.
“You are aware of the Paris Club refund that came in, provision was not made and as a government in the course of the year, you could also realise certain things that become necessary which was not captured in the budget.”
“These are the reasons we go for supplementary budget not because everything has been exhausted in the main budget,’’ he said.
On the disclosure of the state government’s debt, he said the state house of assembly committee on public accounts was considering the accounts of the state.
He added that the committee should be able to discuss about the debt profile of the state because it is now verifiable.
He said, “The state government has published the account of 2014, 2015 and the account of 2016 is the one being considered right now. “
He commended the existing cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government in Akwa Ibom State, which according to him has made it easier for the smooth running of government business.
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