Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago Leads Efforts to Enhance Internal Revenue Generation
The Government of Niger State, under the visionary leadership of Governor Umar Mohammed Bago, has unveiled an ambitious target of 5.7 billion Naira monthly internally generated revenue, effective from January 2024. This announcement was made during the commencement of a two-day retreat focused on revenue harmonization, which gathered critical stakeholders at the Zuma Rock Resort in Niger State.
Governor Bago addressed the gathering through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alh. Abubakar Usman, The Governor, stressed the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders within the state’s revenue sector. He highlighted the importance of leveraging technology to curb revenue leakages and bolster efficient revenue collection. Governor Bago emphasized that the existing underperformance of the revenue generation system is unacceptable and expressed his confidence that the retreat would align stakeholders to achieve the set target. He also affirmed that the state’s revenue board would not undermine the authority of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), as well as Local Government councils.
The board chairman, Mall Mohammed Madami Etsu, commenced the session by acknowledging all protocols. He delineated the purpose and theme of the retreat, expressing concern over the involvement of non-state actors in revenue collection and other challenges which necessitated the retreat.
He expressed hope that the retreat would effectively address revenue-related issues, particularly those concerning local government chairmen.
During the event, Aminu Mohammed Bawa, Acting Head of the Tax Operations Group at the Niger State Revenue Service Board, presented a paper titled “The Journey So Far.” He highlighted the strategies and policies implemented by the Executive Chairman of the State’s Revenue Service to harmonize the new tax regime policy. These strategies included structural revisions, manpower capacity development, and the automation of collection processes to ensure optimal performance and service delivery.
The adoption of global best practices was evident in the priority given to automation within the revenue service. The Acting Director of Tax Operations emphasized that automation significantly enhanced tax administration and collection. Notably, the revenue service successfully collected over 40 million Naira from operators of Commercial Tricycles, known as Keke_Nappe, between June 2022 and June 2023. In the same period, an additional 94.3 million Naira was collected, marking a notable achievement.
In her presentation, Nana Aisha Obomeghie, Secretary of the National Joint Tax Board, commended the Niger State Revenue Service for its commitment to enhancing its revenue profile. She acknowledged the state’s high performance in revenue collection, administrative autonomy, and effective leakages prevention. She called for a robust synergy between state and local government revenue administrators to optimize harmonization policies.
Mallam Suleiman Isah, an ICT expert and the pioneer Commissioner of Communications and Digital Economy, elaborated on the benefits of harmonization, particularly its impact on local government revenue generation. He underscored the significance of technology in boosting revenue collection at the local level, citing the successful case of Kaduna State. He urged participants to study and apply similar policies in Niger State as the government seeks to enhance its revenue profile for sustainable development.
Prominent figures, including Rt. Hon. Abdulamalik Sarkin Daji, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, commended the board’s chairman, speaking highly of his remarkable initiatives and transformative contributions. These endeavors have not only earned the board and the state a commendable reputation in revenue affairs but have also positioned them as a leading force in driving positive change and Mal. Ahmed Garba Gunna Attahiru II, the Emir of Kagara, applauded Governor Bago’s dedication to increasing the internally generated revenue of the state. They affirmed that this move would enable the government to fulfill its campaign promises through improved infrastructure and enhanced social amenities for the people of Niger State.
Abdulberqy U Ebbo
Special Adviser to the Governor
(Digital Media and Strategy)
August 16, 2023
Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word