Niger Delta

Bayelsa Govt tasks Agencies on Increase Revenue Generation

By Kuwekuzi Aigbe, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday charged various revenue Generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to redouble their efforts in the drive to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo gave the charge while declaring open the ninth Bayelsa Tax Advisory and Review Committee (TARC) meeting in Government house, Yenagoa.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo reminded members of the TARC team that it was high time they explored new and better ways of generating revenue in order to boost the revenue profile of Bayelsa.

He pointed out that the state was not where it supposed to be, in terms of income generation, noting that Bayelsa’s IGR would not rise until better methods were employed.

The Deputy Governor commended members of the Committee for their support and contributions to the implementation of the present administration’s fiscal policies in 2021 even as he implored them to be more passionate about their responsibility this year.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who is Chairman of the State Tax Advisory and Review Committee (TARC), urged the Committee to scale up efforts in their revenue drive to enable government pay workers’ salaries as and when due without depending on monthly federal allocations.

To achieve this, he said some tough and proper decisions would be taken not only to expand the state tax net but also identify and plug areas of revenue leakages in the system.

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The Deputy Governor, however, assured the law abiding and tax paying public of the present administration’s readiness to eradicate multiple taxation as part of its investment promotion strategy.

His words, “I want to use this opportunity to thank members of TARC for their support and contributions that took us to where we were last year. But clearly, that is not where we ought to be.

“Although we are not where we used to be, we also are not where we supposed to be as a state in terms of IGR. This therefore means, some more determination as well as passion is required for us to get there.

“If what you know cannot change you, then you have to change what you know. And so, if what we are doing cannot give us the dividends we need, then we need to change what we are doing.

“Until we forage and also explore new avenues, our revenue profile will remain what it is and we can never change. And so, we should not be afraid of daring because without daring, we cannot win.

“We should be seen to be written on the positive side of history that, ‘yes, progress was made by the previous TARC but that better progress was made by this present TARC’.

“We still have a lot to do to increase our IGR. We should be able to pay our workers’ salaries as a state with what we generate even though we may not be well resourced as some states in the country.”

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