IGR TO TRANSFORM ENUGU, SAYS FINANCE MINISTER



The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has expressed delight at
the impressive pace of development in Enugu State, attributing the
stride to the focused leadership of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his
prudent management of the state’s meager resources to address the
basic needs of the people.
Mrs. Adeosun, who described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a “brave” leader, noted
that the governor has done very well in growing the state’s Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR) “transparently” and has also ensured that the
revenues collected are utilized for the development of the state.
The finance minister spoke at the launch of the Voluntary Assets and
Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) in Enugu, which offer taxpayers an
opportunity, within a limited time, to regularize their tax status
relating to previous tax periods.
She emphasized the need for the development of taxes that will assist
states and the country achieve their potentials and vision for the
people, stressing that “with regular taxes, we will avoid the pain
that the recent collapse in oil prices and the consequent recession
inflicted on Nigerians”.
Mrs. Adeosun also commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the massive road
projects in the state, especially his administration’s intervention on
federal roads such as the 9th Mile-Ngwo- Miliken Hill-New Market road,
adding that “Enugu State is one of the states where a lot is going
on”.
The minister disclosed that the federal government has recognized that
infrastructure is the key to job creation, growth and wealth,
stressing that “payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our
growth story”.
She said: “We have already released N1.2 trillion in capital so far
for the 2017 budget, which commenced in June and most of this was
applied to roads, bridges, rails, power, our airports and other key
infrastructural projects”.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of Joint Tax Board, Sir Oseni
Elamah, who applauded the finance minister for initiating the scheme,
also commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his giant strides in Enugu State.
Describing Ugwuanyi as a “digital governor”, Sir Elamah said that the
governor has been able to manage the resources of the state in a
transparent manner that has added value to the lives of the people,
wondering how he has been able to achieve such remarkable feats with
the meager income of the state.
“The governor (Ugwuanyi) is doing it in a digital way, because we all
know that Enugu State is not one of the oil producing states, it is
among the states that get the least federal allocation. We wonder
where the governor gets the resources to do all that he is doing”, the
Executive Secretary said.
In his address, Gov. Ugwuanyi while appreciating the minister for her
resourcefulness, dynamism and commitment, which he said saw to the
establishment of the scheme, disclosed that his administration,
despite daunting economic constraints, has through prudent management
and application of its meager resources, made substantial progress in
actualizing its set objectives for the benefit of the people.
The governor stated that the government while creating job
opportunities for the people through agriculture, entrepreneurship and
investments, has also actively increased the tempo of infrastructural
development especially in the rural areas; built capacity and remained
regular in the payment of civil servants’ salaries and pensions.
He added that the state government has spent over N40 billion on the
construction/rehabilitation of about 240km of roads across the three
senatorial zones of the state between 2015 and this year, disclosing
that “about N2.7 billion of the sum was spent on the
rehabilitation/reconstruction of some Federal Roads including sections
of the 9th Mile- Udi – Oji River – Ugwuoba – Anambra State border;
sections of the 9th mile – Opi Expressway and the 9th
Mile-Ngwo-Miliken-New Market road”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi further stated that the far reaching reforms initiated
by his administration saw to the significant increase of the state’s
IGR to “an all-time high of N22 billion at the close of 2017 in
contrast to the N14 billion that we collected in the whole of 2016
fiscal year”, regretting that federal institutions in Enugu were owing
the state government over N14 billion in unpaid taxes.
While requesting for the minister’s intervention on the payment of the
outstanding tax debts owed by the federal agencies, Gov. Ugwuanyi
enjoined “all Tax payers in Nigeria, but more particularly in Enugu
State, to participate actively in VAIDS especially when it offers
citizens the opportunity to regularize their tax status and avoid
prosecution or investigation for tax-related offences”.