Home Economy How Akeredolu surpassed Mimiko’s IGR record in Ondo– Akinterinwa

How Akeredolu surpassed Mimiko’s IGR record in Ondo– Akinterinwa

by Roving

Ondo state government on Tuesday said it has increased the state internally generated revenue from N500 million to N3 billion monthly through various innovations and modern technology.

The state commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, disclosed this while fielding questions at a media forum organised by the state Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) tagged Ondo Media Agenda, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

This development, he said has placed the state second after Lagos in revenue generation.

According to Akinterinwa, governor Oluwarotimi Akereodolu, through legislative instrument, created Ondo State Internal Revenue Service(ODIRS) to boost the state revenue generation.

Speaking on the efforts of the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration in improving the standard of living and infrastructure development in the state, Akinterinwa revealed that Governor Akeredolu gave him and other members of the Economic Team put in place at the inception of his administration a matching order to shore up the internally generated revenue of the state.

He disclosed that at the inception of the administration, the state IGR was hovering between N500,000 and N600,000.

Having applied some measures and with the leadership and conducive environment provided by the governor, the state IGR jumped to N3billion monthly.

Akinterinwa said the governor, through legislative instrument, created Ondo State Internal Revenue Service(ODIRS) managed by an expert from the private sector.

Different leakages in the revenue were blocked and brilliant graduates were employed with encouraging incentives and salaries to begin exploration of the taxable products and services.

He recalled that the people of the state, particularly civil servants, were disillusioned before the assumption of office by Governor Akeredolu as a result of non-payment of salaries for seven consecutive months.

The commissioner revealed that as the time, the state government was paying over N5billion as wage bill, while local government also was paying over N2billion as wage bill.

He alleged that the immediate past administration deprived the economy of the state over N7billion for seven months.

Akinterinwa, however, said Governor Akeredolu has paid six months out of the seven months backlog of salaries having shored up the revenue generated internally by the state government.

He said: “We designed tax payment, you can now pay your tax at the comfort of your zone, all those placement helped out in increasing our IGR, we deploy technology, we have data for all Houses, all we did was just enforcing the law, we have the data to send notice of tax payment to people and we enforce it, everybody was involved and implementation was done, we also tried to be transperent enough about the funds and usage.

“We also did Technology, training of Staff, bringing people form the private sector has helped us in easy generation of more revenue for the state.

“We did so many financial reengineering on debts that were inherited from loans, they were restructured. The role of the Government is not just to pay salaries, we have not abadoned any projects.

“We are able to achieve great increasment in our IGR because we brought in an independent person, he was given autonomy and an enabling environment, that why we have ODIRS, we recruited Experts and also give more training to staff, we blocked leakages, lots of things are now done properly.”

Akinterinwa disclosed that the state government has taken delivery of 3000 bags of rice from the Federal Government, while the state has also received 3000 bags of rice from the lot being paid for the state government.

Akinterinwa assured that pensioners and the vulnerable in the state would receive the N10,000 set aside for them at the end of this month, August.

He stated that the 3000 bags of rice from the Federal Government are part of the 81,000 bags of rice promised each state of the federation to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.

The commissioner assured that besides rice, other local food items would be procured and distributed to the poor people in the state using the existing data in the communities in the state.

He said: “From this month, apart from transportation, the pensioners would get their #10, 000, the vulnerable would also get the same, some of this promises would  definitely take time, we have to ensure transperency and accountability too.

“Free Transportation for School children would commence next month, transportation for civil servant would also comence for ease movement, and we intend to buy more vehicles,  we would have purchase more vehicles but we don’t want the one using petrol, we want to buy CNG buses because they are bigger, but all the State are going for this purpose because of the fuel cost, we are also on the que for it.

“The government would help the famers get their  food crops get to town because we had realized that transportation has been the major difficulties, the farmer do complain of access, we would provide tricycle for easy access when these crops get to Town, it would be sold in a subsidized price.”

Commenting on all ongoing capital projects in the state, the Commissioner for Finance assured the people of the state none of the projects would be abandoned.

He explained that the developing economic situations to some extent affected some of the road projects, saying the contractors demanded contract variation.

According to the commissioner, the variation had been settled and contractors have moved to sites.

He assured that roads under construction, like Oda Road in Akure South Local Government Area, would be completed at the time agreed upon with the state government.

Speaking on the debt profile of the state on assumption of office by Governor Akeredolu, he disclosed that “They(past administration) took a bond which they were servicing. It wasn’t professionally structured. We were spending over N700m to service it every month.

“We had to increase the tenure of the payment and looked at the rate that was reduced and we started paying about N347million monthly.

“The following year we were able to take a fresh one and still servicing the old one because we have increase our IGR.

The requirements were very stringent at the time we approached the Capital Market. But we were able to get it.

“This improved the economy of the state. The governor provided good leadership and conducive environment to perform.

We were able to recover some debt on which hope had been lost.

“When we came in, we did restructuring in all areas, we bring stakeholders together and investors together, we took Bond that was not maintained well by the previous administration, we serviced it, by the time we approached the capital market, there was no other State that could be able to approach it except Lagos State, because the requirements were strict, but we are able to achieve it.

“All the infrastructure you see today is because the Governor of the state gave us good Leadership, and an enabling environment was created for us in other for us to put up our best.”

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