Governor Otti Emphasizes Urgent Need For Revenue Boost At State Retreat

 

Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti has reiterated his adminstration’s commitment to steering the state towards financial sustainability and self-reliance in the face of evolving economic realities.

 

Governor Otti who stated this at the International Conference Umuahia, during a two-day revenue retreat organized by the state government aimed at increasing the revenue profile of the state.

Governor Otti stressed the need for enhancing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue base (IGR) to enable government meet up with it’s obligation to the people.

 

He emphasized that revenue generation stands as the primary avenue for budget funding, highlighting the critical necessity of enhancing the states IGR, to fund the 2024 budget and cautioned against overreliance on borrowing, which necessitates repayment.

“We need to do things differently and the easiest way and the only way really that budgets are funded is through revenue generation. 

 

“Of course the aberration is through borrowing. If you have in mind that whatever you borrow you must pay back at some point, then you’ll now be forced to generating internal revenue.

 

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“I’ve maintained that elsewhere, budgets are not funded by allocation. Allocation can be likened to sitting down and getting something for free.

 

 “Of course, we are enjoying the allocation now but just ask yourself for one moment assuming we wake up in Nigeria and oil have dried up. We need to be prepared for the changes that are coming“, Governor Otti said.

 

Otti who attributed the state’s declining IGR to a lack of robust collection strategies, inefficiency and transparency, expressed confidence in the collective capacity of the team to devise strategies that would improve revenue collection processes.

 

Governor Otti urged attendees to discard outdated notions and embrace forward-thinking approaches, particularly in light of global shifts and evolve proactive revenue generation efforts to secure the government’s rightful share of prosperity.

He expressed optimism that participants would fashion out models and strategies that would elevate the state’s IGR profile, and urged them to apply the insights gained for the betterment of the state.

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The Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Kingsley Anosike, emphasized the current administration’s commitment to revitalizing Abia as a prominent commercial center and boosting productivity in the state.

 

 

Anosike highlighted the government’s determination to overhaul the state’s revenue culture and enhance its assets management and income streams by leveraging on idle assets.

 

The Chairman, Abia State Internal Revenue Service, Prof. Udochukwu Ogbonna, stressed the pivotal role of revenue generation and collection in the present administration’s success.

 

He said that the government organised the retreat to provide a platform for public workers to exchange ideas in order to evolve innovative strategies for improving revenue collection and generation.

 

 

Ogbonna who outlined the state government’s plans to increase it’s monthly IGR to N10 billion in addition to reviewing revenue laws to align with current realities, noted the importance of capacity building for staff and widening the tax base, alongside the adoption of cutting-edge technology for transparent revenue collection and eliminating multiple taxation.

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Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu on his opening remarks described the theme of the event, “Developing Successful Strategies For Efficiency And Growth” as apt adding that it passes a strong message on the need for the revenue profile of the state to be improved upon.