In a bid to track-up funds allegedly being diverted by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Delta state, Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has directed that all internal revenues accruing to the state government must be collected solely by the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Uduaghan who gave the directive on Monday, May 13, 2013, while declaring open the Board of Internal Revenue Retreat 2013 in Asaba, said that government was not unaware of its revenue been collected in different ministries, parastatals and agencies by officials who were not staff of the Board.
Accordingly, he directed that “If it requires posting staff of the board to different ministries and parastatals for collecting government revenues, this should be done immediately”.
He noted that the state government was poised to ensure that revenue loss was minimized to the barest minimum in the state.
His words: “I have directed that the collection of all government money pass through the Board of Internal Revenue. There are a lot of our revenue being collected that we are not aware of especially in the ministries, parastatals and agencies. We will send Board officials to these places to collect these revenues.”
The governor explained that government needed the improved internally generated revenue to ensure infrastructural development of the state and the payment of workers’ emoluments and wages.
He congratulated the Board for the increase in the monthly internally generated revenue of the state from 1.2 billion naira to 5.7 billion naira and charged them to work harder to ensure that the monthly IGR would be able to offset the state’s monthly wage bill.
Dr. Uduaghan observed that the payment of workers salary from the internally generated revenue would enable the state improve on its infrastructural development projects as the federal allocation would be deployed fully to infrastructural projects.
Governor Uduaghan urged the management and staff of the board to be proactive, seek new revenue sources and develop a critical framework to support the collection of revenue in the state.
He promised that workers’ salaries and emoluments would be paid on or before the 20th of every month and charged the staff of the Board to think outside the box to seek new ways of improving the revenue generation in the state.
He advised the board to use the knowledge they would acquire from the Retreat to generate other avenues that have not been identified to collect taxes in the state and increase the IGR.
Dr. Uduaghan while speaking on the theme of the Retreat “Delta Beyond Oil- The Implications and the Role of Board of Internal Revenue” explained that the state could no longer depend solely on the revenue from oil given the fluctuation of oil price and volatility of production in the country.
The governor said the “Delta beyond Oil” vision would help diversify the state economy and reduce over-dependence on oil and gas thereby attracting investment to the state.
“We want to use our oil money to diversify our economy in such a way that price fluctuation and production volatility do not destabilize us”, he stated.
“The state government is preparing the economy for a time when the rise or fall of oil revenue will not be a factor in our total revenue especially now that most countries are now producing oil and our major market, The United States of America now produces most of its domestic oil and gas needs”, he said.
Governor Uduaghan opined that the state has mapped out strategies to encourage investments in various other sectors of the economy especially in agriculture, tourism and energy.
In his address, the Chairman of the Board of lnternal Revenue, Hon. Joel Onohwapor-Thomas expressed the Board’s commitment towards the “Delta Beyond Oil ” vision of the state and promised to create an enabling environment to ensure that the vision succeeded.
He commended the governor for providing the board with the needed working facilities and assured him that they would ensure improvement on the strategies for revenue collection in order to increase the internal generated revenue.
In a welcome address, The Chairman of the planning Committee, Barrister Austin Oboroegbeye stated that the retreat was organised to educate staff and other stakeholders on ways of promoting the Agenda of “Delta Beyond Oil” through revenue drive.
He also explained that the retreat was in line with Governor Uduaghan’s Human Capital Development agenda of training and re-training of staff for greater productivity.