The component parts of the Nigerian federation depend, to a large extent, on statutory allocations from the central government, to fund their capital and recurrent expenditure. Of course, emerging realities now compel states to generate more internal revenue to complement the statutory allocations.
In this regard, states are now working to identify ways of enhancing revenue generation, from both formal and informal taxpayers within their jurisdictions.
An interesting fact emerged at a recent conference organized by the Centre for African Economic Watch (CAEW). A resource person observed that Lagos and Kano are the only two states of the federation with capacity to be economically viable entities with signs of growth and development and able to survive without statutory allocations.
The assertions about Lagos are undoubtedly true, given its strategic location. But Kano deserves a special mention as the most economically viable entity in the northern part of the country. It has resilience and prudence in managing available resources.
Prior to 2016, the internally generated revenue base of Kano state hovered between N1.3 billion and N1.5 billion monthly, which was drastically inadequate, compared to the humongous commercial activities in synonymous to Kano and the state in general.
This seeming inadequate revenue base generated by the Kano state Revenue Service (KIRS) in the past years was however re-invigorated and strengthened with the coming of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (OFR) as the governor of the state. It is imperative to note that Ganduje came on board when Nigeria was facing recession coupled with the dwindling federal revenue from oil. The governor saw the compelling need to transform, reinvigorate and strengthen the Kano State Internal Revenue Service.
Today, the KIRS has been repositioned and re-energised with capable young professionals under the leadership of Alh. Sani Abdulkadir Dembo, a seasoned professional accountant, who served at the Federal Revenue Service in Lagos.
It is gratifying to note that the IGR in the state has witnessed a substantial increase, rising to between N2.5 and N3 billion from the previous N1.3 to 1.5 monthly.
It is noteworthy that about 250,000 additional potential tax payers have been captured in the tax net, from both the informal and formal sectors.
With this impressive result, the state has been able to complete inherited uncompleted projects, initiate and complete new projects, pay salaries and pensions regularly. While other states are still battling with how to implement the new minimum wage of N30,000, Governor Ganduje has easily undertaken the obligation to the admiration of the people.
• Mohammed Isa Bilal, an author, wrote from Jos, Plateau State