Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has enjoined Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to raise their performance bar and re-strategise on meeting their revenue targets as contained in the approved 2022 budget of the state.
Ugwuanyi made the call during a one-day conference on achieving Enugu State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) target for 2022 Fiscal Year, in Enugu, on Tuesday.
Ugwuanyi represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Uchenna Ortuanya, said the importance of the conference was to identify the challenges faced by poorly performing MDAs and deliberate on ways to improve on their activities with a view to meeting the 2022 revenue target for funding of the budget.
The governor also called for the establishment of an annual revenue index of every MDA in the state.
According to him, the state government is determined to meet the revenue targets for the full implementation of the 2022 budget of Enugu State in spite of the nation’s challenges bordering on economy, security and public health.
He urged the MDAs to set up monitoring mechanisms that would track all revenue generated by them towards the actualisation of their targets.
Stressing the state government’s determination towards growing its IGR to create a socio-economic system not so dependent on federal allocation, Ugwuanyi disclosed that his administration had grown the state’s IGR by 50 per cent without any increased tax burden on the people or businesses.
“Furthermore, a 2019 Report showed that Enugu State came third in the federation after Lagos and River in terms of fiscal sustainability.
“Also, a report by Ernst and Young, a globally acclaimed auditing firm, rated Enugu State first in the federation on grounds of fiscal discipline, prudence and accountability”, he added.
The governor commended the Chairman of Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIRS), Prince Emeka Odo and his team for the timely Summit, expressing confidence that, at the end of the strategic event, the challenges faced by major revenue generating MDAs will be analyzed and solutions proffered.
According to him, this will enhance revenue generation for delivery of more democratic dividends to the people of the state.
Also speaking, the Chairman of ESIRS, Prince Odo explained that the Summit was organised by the agency in collaboration with Enugu State Economic Planning Commission to review the performance of the MDAs in the past three years.
This he said, would give them an opportunity to inform each revenue generating MDA of its revenue target for 2022, formulate and agree on strategies for achieving the targets as well as harmonize their revenue heads.
Odo applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the impressive performance of ESIRS last year, revealed that the agency collected a total IGR of N26million as against a target of N29million as contribution of IGR to the funding of the 2021 budget, representing a 92 per cent budget performance and a 13 per cent improvement over that of the 2020 fiscal year.
According to the Chairman, this performance is commendable and all of us in this room have every reason to be proud of this achievement.
“However, the bulk of the credit for the improving IGR figures in Enugu State goes to Gov. Ugwuanyi, considering the huge financial, structural and logistic support he extended not only to the Revenue Service but to all revenue generating MDAs in the state.
“In six years, the present administration has radically reformed the Revenue Service, transforming it from a manual, laid back government agency to an automated, modern revenue service run on the wheels of best business principles.
“He has approved and provided funding for the installation of an Integrated Tax Management System in the Revenue Service, automating tax filling, assessment, collection and accounting.
“Provided a fleet of vehicles to boost the logistic efficiency, effectiveness of the Service and institutionalized a monthly financial incentive scheme for all staff of the Service to reward hard work and productivity,” he said.
In her goodwill message, the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Ada-Onah Kene-Uyawunne, stated that the conference became imperative in view of the advice by the World Bank that states should concentrate on what they grow internally instead of relying solely on what they get outside in terms of earnings from the federation account.
She noted that growing of revenue is not about increasing taxation, but about cutting cost, harmonization of taxes and harnessing of resources.
On his part, the Commissioner for Budget, Dr David Ugwunta, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for approving the Summit, highlighting its benefits towards the funding of the 2022 budget.
Ugwunta maintained that the IGR is needed to meet up with the recurrent expenditures, pointing out that the governor had been passionate and committed to regular payment of workers’ salaries, pensions and subventions.