From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau Governor Simon Lalong has charged the Plateau Revenue Council to come up with new strategies to generate N5 billion internal revenue monthly in Plateau.
The governor suggested that the revenue stream would make up for the sharp decline in monthly federal allocations to the state.
Governor Lalong made the remarks in Jos on Thursday at the inauguration of the state Revenue Council and the Governing Board of the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service, held at Government House, Little Ratified.
‘Experts’ projections indicate that Plateau State has an internal revenue capacity of more than N5 nillion naira per month,’ he said.
‘This explains why before the disruption caused by COVID-19, our administration was able to jerk up its Internally Generated Revenue from about six hundred million naira monthly in 2015 to about nine hundred million in 2019. This shows that the projection by experts is in the right direction and we can actually do far more than we have been doing if we put our house in order.’
Governor Lalong described the constitution of the revenue council as a milestone in the journey of the state towards improved revenue generation and self-sufficiency.
He said the inauguration sets the tone for the full implementation of the new Plateau State (Consolidated) Revenue Law, also known as the Revenue Law 2020, which he assented to, in November 2020.
The governor explained that in line with his resolve to improve the revenue profile of the state, his administration engaged Compliance Professionals Plc (CPP), a reputable tax consortium, to help steer the transformation of revenue administration across the state, including at the local government level.
‘This engagement led to the development and implementation of the plan to effectively transit from the current state to a harmonized internal revenue generation and collection system, thereby improving efficiency and effectiveness and significantly increasing bottom lines.’
He charged the 18-man Revenue Council which he chairs to ensure that it works within its terms of reference to ensure that the revenue of the State is inproved.
He noted that the Council shall be responsible for coordinating all revenue activities in the state; making policies, regulations and guidelines on revenue matters; setting up structures for whistle blowing; reviewing revenue rates; as well as identifying other sources of funding for the state.
Governor Lalong appealed to all citizens to cooperate with the new revenue drive as the state has a lot of projects to carry out but needs resources. The days of looking up to Abuja, he said, are over because the national purse is also depleted.
The governor assured that every kobo will not only be accounted for, but used for projects and programmes that have direct impact on lives of the people.