Ondo is second best in IGR in Southwest- Akinterinwa
Ondo state government has increased the state internally generated revenue from N500 million to N3 billion monthly.
The state commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, disclosed this while fielding questions at a media forum organised by the state Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) tagged Ondo Media Agenda, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
This development, he said has placed the state second after Lagos in revenue generation.
According to Akinterinwa, governor Rotimi Akereodolu, through legislative instrument, created Ondo State Internal Revenue Service(ODIRS) to boost the state revenue generation.
He added that different leakages in the revenue were blocked and brilliant graduates were employed with encouraging incentives and salaries to begin exploration of the taxable products and services.
Having applied some measures and with the leadership and conducive environment provided by the governor, the state IGR jumped to N3billion monthly.
Akinterinwa said the governor, through legislative instrument, created Ondo State Internal Revenue Service(ODIRS) managed by an expert from the private sector.
He recalled that the people of the state, particularly civil servants, were disillusioned before the assumption of office by Governor Akeredolu as a result of non-payment of salaries for seven consecutive months.
The commissioner revealed that as the time, the state government was paying over N5billion as wage bill, while local government also was paying over N2billion as wage bill.
Akinterinwa, however, said Governor Akeredolu has paid six months out of the seven months backlog of salaries having shored up the revenue generated internally by the state government.
He said: “We designed tax payment, you can now pay your tax at the comfort of your zone, all those placement helped out in increasing our IGR, we deploy technology, we have data for all Houses, all we did was just enforcing the law, we have the data to send notice of tax payment to people and we enforce it, everybody was involved and implementation was done, we also tried to be transperent enough about the funds and usage.
“We also did Technology, training of Staff, bringing people form the private sector has helped us in easy generation of more revenue for the state.
“We did so many financial reengineering on debts that were inherited from loans, they were restructured. The role of the Government is not just to pay salaries, we have not abandoned any projects.
“We are able to achieve great increament in our IGR because we brought in an independent person, he was given autonomy and an enabling environment, that why we have ODIRS, we recruited Experts and also give more training to staff, we blocked leakages, lots of things are now done properly.”
Commenting on all ongoing capital projects in the state, the Commissioner for Finance assured the people of the state none of the projects would be abandoned.
He explained that the developing economic situations to some extent affected some of the road projects, saying the contractors demanded contract variation.
According to the commissioner, the variation had been settled and contractors have moved to sites.
He assured that roads under construction, like Oda Road in Akure South Local Government Area, would be completed at the time agreed upon with the state government.