The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has asked his colleagues across the country to plug revenue leakages in order to boost Internally Generated Revenue in order to overcome the current economic crunch.
He said leakages were usually enabled by political patronage and must be stopped.
Oshiomhole gave the advice in a paper titled, “Survival of the states and beyond — Edo State perspective”, which he delivered at the economic retreat organised by the National Economic Council on Monday and Tuesday last week in Abuja.
Our correspondent on Monday obtained a copy of the paper, which was presented behind closed doors at the two-day event, which had “Nigerian states: Multiple centres of prosperity” as its theme.
The governor said as part of deliberate efforts to enhance IGR, state governors must strengthen all institutions involved in tax administration.
This, he said, could be achieved by setting proper targets and strictly monitoring performance, urging his colleagues to expand the taxpayers’ base.
“IGR can be enhanced by aggressively expanding the taxpayers’ base through comprehensive enumeration and registration using TIN system,” he said.
Oshiomhole called on state governors to implement the Treasury Single Account as currently being witnessed at the federal level.
He added, “We must strengthen expenditure management processes by centralising the approving authority for all recurrent expenditure; automating payroll processing and salary disbursement.
“All capital expenditure projects must have cash backing before contract award. All major projects must meet cost-benefit benchmark. We must implement cash budget system for monthly expenditure.”
In the medium term, the governor said state governments should continuously improve tax administration to ensure wider coverage, encourage voluntary compliance and reduce cost of collection as well as enhance yield.
He also urged them to establish partnership with appropriate international development organisations with a view to accessing funds and technical support for development programmes.
The governor added that state governments should boost their economy through development of infrastructure and human capacity to encourage investment in economic activities premised on the state’s endowment factors with comparative advantage.
He stated that state governments must revamp land management/administration processes and costs.