Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has tasked state and local government on more internally-generated revenue.
The governor said not less than 50 villages across five local government areas have been deserted thereby causing humanitarian crisis in the state.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello stated this when he declared opened a two-day workshop on strategies for enhancing Internally Generated Revenue of Local Government Councils in Minna, Niger State.
The governor acknowledged that the workshop is apt, stressing the need for local government councils to look inwards and strengthen Internally Generated Revenue by epanding the tax net so as to meet the increasing demands in their Local Government Areas in particular and the state in general.
He said the present IGR cannot sustain the developmental aspirations of the state, particularly with the security challenges that have bedevilled some parts of the state, stressing that while government is making efforts to boost its revenue, it must block leakages, cut down cost, adding that it will not hesitate to do away with local government staff that are not adding value.
“As we speak we have not less than 50 villages deserted across five local governments, now where do we get the resources to take care of them if 80 per cent of our resources go to those that do not add value to the system?
“Now we have to deal with human- itarian problems and security prob- lems, all these require resources that
we do not have. So, the only way we can survive is to increase our IGR.
“At the moment we have over 3,000 IDPs in Minna, apart from other local governments, he said.
The governor urged participants to be attentive, actively participate and make meaningful contributions that will give them more insight into strategies of enhancing IGR for soci- oeconomic development at the local government levels.
Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Muhammad Ahmed Dabban and the permanent secretary of the Commission, Nuhu Garba Ngaski in their separate remarks explained that the workshop was organised for Local Government directors of Administration and Fi- nance, Revenue officers as well as heads of finance of development areas in Niger State.
They both state that the workshop
is primarily to ensure proper and accurate implementation of financial memoranda, have internal control system for enhancing revenue col- lection by the councils, enhance capacity as well as improve the quality of participants in their respective duties among others at the local government levels.
The Resource Person Malam Haruna Yahaya, who gave the synopsis of the workshop says the objectives of the workshop was to ascertain full understanding of revenue profile, develop comprehensive strategies to ensure enhanced revenue base of each local government and to promote transparency as well as ac- countability towards proper accounting for the revenue.