Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Thursday inaugurated an 18-member Revenue Council and the Governing Board of the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service(PSIRS) to boost revenue generation and self sufficiency in the state.
Lalong, while inaugurating the members on Thursday at Government House, Jos, said the revenue council which would be chaired by him, would deploy revenue administration strategies to address structural and technical gaps in revenue generation.
“Over the years, the decentralised operation of state Ministries, Departments Agencies (MDAs) and other revenue generating agencies, has created structural and technical gaps which reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of revenue generation and collection in the state,” he said.
He said the council and board were also part of the process of Implementing the new Plateau State Consolidated Law(Revenue Law 2020), which he assented to in November 2020.
The governor said projection by experts revealed that the state has an internal revenue generation capacity of more than N5 billion monthly, explaining that his administration had improved revenue generation from N600 million in 2015 , to N900 million in 2019.
” This shows that the projection by experts is in the right direction, and we can actually do far more than we have been doing if we put our house in order,” he said.
He congratulated members of the two bodies and urged them to deploy their experience and knowledge in generating more revenue to enable the government to embark on more development projects.
” The council shall be responsible for coordinating all revenue activities in the state; making policies, regulations and guidelines on revenue matters; setting up structures for whistle blowing.
” Reviewing revenue rates; as well as identifying other sources of funding for the state.
” We have carefully selected members of this council to provide the required leadership in changing the revenue trajectory of the state.
Lalong assured the people of the state that in his administration’s drive to boost revenue , he would be sensitive to their plight in introducing new taxes.
“Let me also allay the fears of all law abiding citizens over the introduction of new taxes in this new dispensation. Our focus for now is to first ensure that areas that have been neglected in the past are harvested as provided by law.
” If and when there are new ones to be introduced, we shall ensure that everyone is carried along and it is done in a manner that does not lay a burden on the people or emasculate businesses,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the members, the Chairman of PSIRS, Mr Arlat Dashe, thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve, saying the inauguration had established a structure for them to discharge their duties diligently.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the Revenue Council include the Governor as the Chairman and the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, as Secretary.
Other members include the Commissioners of Finance, Budget Planning, Commerce, Tourism, Chairman PSIRS, the state traditional council and representatives of Civil Society Organisations.
NAN further reports that members of the governing board for PSIRS include the Executive Chairman of PSIRS as Chairman, while Mrs Rahila Olu-Silas would serve as secretary.
Other members include the Secretary to the State Government, representatives of the Northern, Southern and Central Zones and the State Commissioner for Justice, Chrysanthus Ahmadu.(NAN)