Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is set to introduce an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Dashboard, an innovation of the Economic department of the NGF.
The Director General of NGF, Asishana Okauru, state’s this when he hosted tax officers from the 36 states of the federation at the Forum’s secretariat, in Abuja.
According to a statement by the Head, Media Public Affairs of the NGF, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, Okauru enjoined the desk officers not to see the exercise as another jamboree but to view it as serious business designed to shore up the revenue base of their various states.
Okauru was quoted as saying, “This is not another talk shop. It is a very serious event designed to train Desk Officers on one of our flagship projects: the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Dashboard Initiative.”
He explained that the IGR Dashboard is dedicated to strengthening ongoing reforms targeted at raising the internally generated revenue of States, by actively engaging with the 37 tax authorities in the country, including the FCT.
Okauru also said in the past years, the NGF had built a strong relationship with the Executive Chairmen of the State Inland Revenue Bodies/Agencies/Services.
According to him, “We strongly believe that for the IGR Dashboard Initiative to succeed, it is important we maintain another layer of relationship in the space you operate.
“In my opinion, as Desk Officers, you are functionally the most important part of the implementation puzzle.
“You are a very crucial point of contact on all matters related to the IGR Dashboard. This is an important call in the broader context of our engagement with your State governors in the drive for strong political commitment for IGR reforms.”
Okauru further discloses that some states have since taken advantage of this initiative, he added that beginning from today, they now have a fresh level-playing ground for all states to take advantage of the opportunities the IGR Dashboard provides.
“We expect some degree of networking among yourselves to facilitate sharing experiences.
“You also have a unique opportunity to request for technical assistance from the NGF Secretariat and our development partners.
“The outcome in some states backs our conviction that addressing the challenges of tax administration at the sub-national level can be achieved within a short period.
“The NGF has taken a leading position on this by continuing to play an active role in strengthening institutional and governance systems at the sub-national level, including your Internal Revenue Agencies/Bodies/Services.
“Our support to States has been through the provision of evidence to influence policy formulation and implementation, the development of knowledge resources to strengthen reforms and the delivery of national platforms for peer learning,” he stated.
The NGF also said it would contribute to a more coherent reform environment and fasttrack full domestication of commendable practices across all States and the FCT, the NGF Secretariat also develops GUIDES for implementing reforms based on extensive experience in peer reviewing the 36 States over the last 10 year.
This, he said has significantly improved the way state governments run and the overall governance climate in the country.
“In the light of your important role, we will today be launching a GUIDE for the IGR Dashboard.
“We encourage you all to adopt the approaches documented in this GUIDE. They have worked in many states.
“This document also provides guidance to our in-house team in building the capacity of revenue officials at the state level. It is the reference tool at different administrative levels in the design, implementation and monitoring of tax reforms.
“Our doors are open. We are happy to maintain and in fact deepen this relationship.
“Please take advantage of the presentations and contributions of our facilitators and the opportunity to share useful lessons with your peers,” Okauru added.