From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Chairman of Bogoro local government area of Bauchi State, Mr Illiya Habila, has lamented the low internally generated revenue of the council, saying the situation was hampering the development of the area.
Habila stated this in an interview with our correspondent at his residence in Bauchi, disclosing the largest market in the area generates a paltry N15, 000 as IGR.
“The dwindling internally generated revenue for Bogoro is very poor,” he said.
“We have few markets and the largest market what we generate there plus and minus the leakages, we get not more that N10, 000 to N15,000 , compared to other local governments in the state which are turning in millions of naira but we are turning in thousands”
The council boss, who served as Caretaker Committee of Bogoro before being elected as executive Chairman, said the situation was worsened by the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We are not relying on allocation alone more so we are hit by global pandemic and the revenue of the federal government also dropped and this is a big challenge,” he said.
Habila said that his administration is mooting the idea of overhauling the IGR department of the local government to block the leakages where they exist in order to boost revenue.
“We are trying to overall the revenue department although we are not the ones collecting revenue now but we want to help the company collecting revenue because it will also reflect positively on our own efforts,” he said.
Habilla described the four years of immediate past governor, Mohammed Abubakar as a waste to the people of Bogoro.
“Now we have seen a government (Governor Bala Mohamed administration) that has come with vigour and flagged off two roads one linking from Bogoro to Lussa and from Boi to Tapshin. We have seen a new paradign shift in terms of development,” he said.
Habilla said despite the paucity of funds, he has a comprehensive plan for all the 13 wards in Bogoro.
“We have got list of culverts and roads we will improve upon to be graded and when this is done and I assure you in the next one month or so, with prayer that we will have an intervention from the state and that will be given.
“We will go into structural renovation and you can be rest assured that Bogoro will have no place difficult to access. The state government is giving us a boost and we ill reciprocate to complement what government is doing”
He said that his administration as caretaker Chairman empowered over 200 women and youths with small scale businesses.
“We gave them token of N10, 000 to N15, 000. They were happy and we want to monitor and see the impact and see whether more do. We boosted education although it’s in the mandate of SUBEB we went into schools and fished brilliant children and assisted them with money to write JAMB and some of them did well.
“We also sustained sanitation and hygiene as Bogoro was certified Open Defecation Free and the status gained was because we established a task force which worked day and night to ensure that we attained that feat and we will sustain it.
“In areas of agriculture we have plans to assist farmers we have plans to ensure that women are into entrepreneurship. We are looking at the physically challenged and we are strategising with an NGO to distribute 150 wheel chairs to the physically challenged in Bogoro. We are not resting on our oars we have contacted individuals and organisations to come and assist us to put smiles on the faces of our people”