Niger State Internal Revenue Service Retreat Addresses Revenue Harmonization.
On Wednesday, 16th August 2023, at Zuma Resort, Niger state, the retreat commenced, spearheaded by the Executive Chairman of Niger State Internal Revenue Service, Mohammed Madami Etsu. The primary objective of the retreat is to address pertinent revenue-related challenges, emphasizing the significant role of local government chairmen and associated revenue-generation institutions.
Mr. Etsu drew attention to the pressing challenges in revenue collection, particularly involving non-state actors, underscoring the retreat’s timely relevance.
Representing the governor on the first day, the Secretary of the Niger State Government, Abubakar Usman, voiced concerns over the state’s dwindling revenue profile. He stressed that the existing revenue model falls short of meeting the state’s financial demands, hence the need for harmonization. He further unveiled an ambitious monthly revenue target of 5.7 billion Naira, effective January 2024.
Several experts contributed their insights, including Nana Aisha Obemeghie, the secretary of the National Joint Tax Board, who commended the state’s tax collection efforts. Dr. Zaid Abubakar, the former Chairman of the Kaduna Board of Internal Revenue, discussed Kaduna State’s Revenue Policy. Professor Muritala Awoodu, the former Chairman of the Kwara State Board of Internal Revenue, presented a paper on the Key Success Factors for Revenue Harmonization using Kwara State as a case study—additionally, Mall. Suleiman Isah, the Commissioner for Communication Technology and Digital Economy, and Alh Aminu Mohammed Bawa from the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue also shared valuable papers.
On the following day, Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, enriched the retreat with his presence and pivotal policy statements on the state’s progress trajectory. Governor Bago highlighted the state’s untapped potential, explicitly citing Suleja local government’s potential to yield up to one billion Naira monthly. Additionally, he announced a generous relief package of 3 billion Naira, poised to benefit the 274 wards across the state, aiming to counterbalance the impacts of subsidy removal.
In the retreat’s interaction segment, the newly appointed Commissioner of Budget and Planning Commissioner, Mallam Mustapha Ndajiwo, renowned for his tax expertise, moderated the session.
Attendees were divided into two focus groups led by Mall. Ndajiwo and Engr. Haruna Dokodza, member representing Bida 11 at the state of assembly. These groups diligently deliberated upon and refined various aspects of the revenue harmonization policy.
The retreat ended on the 17th of August, 2023, with a unanimous consensus. All 25 local government chairmen, along with relevant institutions, pledged their commitment to the newly introduced policy.
Special Adviser to the Governor
(Digital Media and Strategy)
Government House
18 August 2023
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