Gov Lalong inaugurates 18-member revenue council

From Teryima Ajijah, Jos

Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, on Thursday, inaugurated an 18-man revenue council, including himself as chairman.

Performing the ceremony at the New Government House, Jos, Governor Lalong said his presence in the revenue council is to ensure strict compliance with the revenue law recently signed by his administration.

According to the governor, inauguration of the revenue council has become imperative, due to drop in the allocation from the federal account to state governments across Nigeria.

“It is no longer news that there has been a remarkable decline in revenue allocation to states, from the Federation Account. This is primarily occasioned by the continuous fall in crude oil prices in the international market,” he stated

Governor Lalong said he will not allow any of the revenue council members to deputise him, therefore, once he is absent, all meetings must be put on hold.

Governor Lalong who gave reasons for the creation of the revenue law which is aimed at improving revenue generation of the state said: “One of the major objectives of the Revenue Law 2020 is to ensure effective and efficient revenue generation, by creating a New Organizational Structure for Plateau State Internal Revenue Service, revenue generating MDAs and Revenue Departments in all the 17 Local Government Areas. With this development, new Revenue Units are to be created to consolidate the efforts of employees of Plateau State Government particularly those in the revenue stream.

“That is why within the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service, the reform has provided for 5 Directorates, to be headed by Directors with such qualifications provided in the Scheme of Service for the PSIRS.

Together with the Secretary and Legal adviser, they are to provide support to the Executive Chairman of the Service, in order to carry out all the responsibilities provided for by Section 17 of the Revenue Law 2020.”

Members of the revenue council are serving and retired finance experts from different institutions, including the civil society.

Members of the council include Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, Secretary to the Government of the State as Secretary to the Council, while the commissioners for Finance;  Agriculture and Rural Development;

Lands, Survey and Town Planning; Commerce and Industry; Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development; Tourism; Transport; Water Resources; Budget and Economic Planning and; Justice are members.

Others members are Chairmen, Plateau State Internal Revenue Service, Plateau State Traditional Council respectively, as well as Mr Ibrahim Puri, Mr Miyen Swomen, Dr Nancy Katu Ogundimu (representing Civil Societies), and Bashir Shuaibu Jibrin (representing the Informal Sector).

He stressed that his administration has resolved to mop up every available funds in the state using tax collection.

“Our administration was able to jerk up its Internally Generated Revenue from about six hundred million naira monthly in 2015 to about nine hundred 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.”

“In line with my firm resolve to address this challenge and improve the revenue profile of our dear State, my administration engaged Compliance Professionals Plc. (CPP), a reputable tax consortium, to help steer the transformation of revenue administration across the State,” he said.

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