By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has revealed the amount of money internally generated in the state on monthly basis, which he said is far below expectation.
The Governor stated this while inaugurating the State Board of Internal Revenue on Wednesday.
The Board, which was inaugurated at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia on Thursday, is Chaired by Mr. Richard Madiebo, and is primarily tasked with increasing the state’s internally-generated revenue.
Executive Directors of the Board include Dr. Greg Ugochukwu Ezeilo (Anambra South), Dr. Christian Madubuko (Anambra North), Mr Benjamin Anierobi Okafor (Anambra Central).
Other members include the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake, Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ifeatu Onejeme, Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Ofornze Amucheazi, Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Pat Igwebuike.
Others are Mr. Don Adizuo, Secretary/Head of Legal Dept., Mr Chika Oformma, Head of Assessment and Mrs Juliet Nwakpudolu, Head of High Net Individual Assessment Department.
Speaking after the inauguration, Soludo pointed out that the Internal Revenue Service is the lifeblood of all government operations, emphasising that if it doesn’t work, nothing works.
The Governor noted that results of IGR are not even close to 50% of what he anticipated to achieve.
He stressed that he expected to have the revenue body double its initial revenue within its first four months, which did not happen.
He maintained that the state government should be making more than 3 billion naira per month, which has yet to happen, and that the 2023 budget is expected to generate 4 billion naira per month, stressing that the Anambra state government is running a deficit on IGR, which is one of the key projections.
He said, “FAAC allocations are unpredictable, but we have an economy with an estimated value of up to 5 trillion naira.
“It is critical to highlight the enormous potentials that exist, as well as the appropriate benchmarks and targets.
“If we have a 5 trillion naira estimate and collect 1%, that is 60 billion naira per year. If we collect 2%, that’s 120 billion naira per year, or a minimum of ten billion naira per month on average. If we receive 5% of income, we will have 300 billion naira per year.
“As of Monday, we were dangling around 1 billion naira per month, which is extremely low.”
“You can see how far we are doing in relation to the potentials that exist.”
He added that “The internal revenue service requires a 180 per cent turnaround. The current path we are taking will not get us very far because we have been trying it for a year.
“Members of this Board must get to work right away because there is a lot of work ahead of them.
“We will interface and evaluate performance every three months. It will have a high mortality rate and a three-month life span. If this board fails, we will disband it and create a new one.”
According to the Governor, the Terms of Reference of the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue include, “Providing general policy guidelines regarding the functions of the State Internal Revenue Service and supervising implementation of such policies, ensuring the effective and optimum collection of all revenue, including levies and penalties due to the State Government under the relevant Federal and State Laws, doing all such things that may be deemed necessary and expedient for the assessment and collection of all revenue, accounting for all amount so collected in a manner to be prescribed by the Governor.
Others include “making recommendations where appropriate to the Joint Tax Board on tax policy, tax reform, tax registration, tax treaties and exemption as may be required from time to time, appointing, promoting, transferring and imposing discipline on employees of the State Internal Revenue Service, making Recommendations to the Governor regarding the terms and conditions of employment and remuneration of staff of the Internal Revenue Service, controlling the management of the State Internal Revenue Service on matters of policy, subject to the provisions of any regulations setting up the State Internal Revenue Service and doing such other things are in the opinion of the Board necessary to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the State Revenue Service under the Law.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board thanked the Governor for the confidence in them and promised that the Board will live up to expectations.