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Revenue generation now priority for govs – Okauru

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Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Director General of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Asishana Okauru, has said governors have  now made revenue generation top priority due to dwindling federal allocations to states.

He said this at a training workshop on human resources management for state internal revenue services (the North Central zone) in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The aim of the training is to provide states internal revenue services with the requisite capacity to effectively manage their workforce and equip them with the knowledge relating to tax audit, investigations and its related processes.

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Okaura said: “Our role is  to help our principals govern better.  Revenue generation is a priority for governors. What we are doing is to further equip the human capacity of the tax agencies.”

The NGF DG noted that implementing a strong human resources management strategy is key to effective tax administration.  He told tax managers that for their service to be at the forefront of domestic revenue mobilisation, it needs the right people, the right vision and a good execution plan.

“ I want to put on record that over the years, a number of state internal revenue service have put in place administrative reforms, which have made them very efficient in the revenue generating space, in addition to being reference institutions in domestic revenue mobilisation,” he said.

He acknowledged that some state governors had provided support, by instituting some measures of administrative autonomy, which would help the tax managers to carry out their functions more effectively.

In his good goodwill message, the Executive Secretary, Joint Tax Board (JTB), Oseni Elamah, commended the NGF for its role in  ensuring the attainment of the lofty ideals of enhanced revenue generation in the country, especially as the need to explore alternative sources of funding is inevitably in the  face of dwindling resources.

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He noted that the NGF has been reinforcing the role of the JTB, adding that the implementation of the states internally generated revenue( IGR)  reform initiative is just one of such collaborations.

Elamah disclosed that the JTB is currently on the verge of coordinating a nationwide joint tax audit exercise; a collaboration between the state internal revenue service and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

“The peer review learning event is another initiative that is piloted by the NGF in partnership with the JTB. The initiative has the primary objective of engaging chairmen of the respective revenue authorities via technical sessions to exchange ideas, and map out strategies for increasing IGR at the respective level of governance,” he said.

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