Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have challenged states to move away from oil that there may not be buyers in the nearest future but create ideas, solutions to improve their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Representing the governors at the Opening Ceremony of Two Days IGR Summit for PDP-governed states, in Abuja, Wednesday, the Director-General of PDP Governors’ Forum, Osaro Onaiwu said, “As the world begins to move away from petroleum products, it means we can no longer continue to depend on revenue from crude oil.
“This is because in the very near future Nigeria may not have buyers for her oil. This is why it has become critical for states to find creative ways to generate revenue internally.
“This is not to be mistaken for a call for more taxes, but rather, a call to begin to think out of the box in preparation for when Abuja cannot share as much as it does now.
“Whether money comes from Abuja or not, there will still be a need for the states to build infrastructure, pay workers, provide health care, and improve education plus more.”
According to him, “This forward-thinking is what led to the decision by the PDP Governors’ Forum to convene this IGR summit to help bring this to the front burner of our state governors and prepare ourselves with creative ideas and solutions to improve IGR so that when enough is not coming from Abuja, the state governments would still be in a position to fulfill their obligations to the people.”
Commending the Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa for hosting the South-South Police Regional Summit, Onaiwu said the gesture means the PDP governors believe in peace and not violence, and as such has helped the states to develop.
He added that Zamfara state in the next two years will be a state to be reckoned with as the governor is working round the clock to ensure that peace reigns supreme for the benefit of the people.
In his address, the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said state governors should look for alternative ways of generating revenue to address the challenges of food security, infrastructure among others.
Secondus, who was represented by the party National Financial Secretary, Abdullahi Maibasira, described the IGR summit as the gathering of PDP governors to find a way of expanding their revenue base for the aspiration of their people, noting that the nation has become a poverty headquarters.
He said it is essential now to drive up revenue against increasing population and expenditure by government, adding that “we want to ensure that tax collected is used for the actual purpose of service provision and also duly documented.”
Raising concern about multiple taxations, Secondus stressed the need for transparent tax administration as well as the need to monitor e-commerce businesses.
Also speaking, the Zamfara state deputy governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, said the state was currently stabilizing peace, saying this has helped to generate revenue for the state.
He said that unlike in the previous administration where the IGR was about 200 to 300 million, the government of Bello Metawalle has increased the revenue base of the state.
He said that there is need for consistency and the adoption of technology in revenue drive, adding that there is also the need to understand each other as a nation.