By Dikachi Franklin, Owerri
As part of the efforts to boost the internally generated revenue to help provide more infrastructural facilities in Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodinma has assented to the Imo State Revenue Administration Law 2020 as amended.
The law will not only help to boost the revenue base of the state but further assist to close revenue leakages as a result of engagement of many revenue collection agencies that prove to be dishonest through their actions.
“Before now, the law provides for consultants that will collect 10 percent of the total revenue, 10 percent goes to the board of internal revenue (BIR), 20 percent to ENTRACO, 10 percent to OCDA. At the end 50 percent of the IGR is gone, leaving the state with only 50 percent of the internally generated revenue collected,” Uzodima said, adding that this was in violation of the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The governor said the amendment he assented to, empowers the Board of Internal Revenue to spend five percent of the internally generated revenue (IGR) for the payment of salaries of their workers and other personnel services. This expenditure, the governor said, will be
subjected to appropriation by the State House of Assembly.
Uzodimma explained that, with the amendment, the state now stands to gain more as 95 percent of the total IGR will go directly to the state coffers as against the 50 percent which was the old order.
Chiji Collins, the speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, said that the law before its amendment, which was similar to Lagos State Revenue Law, has not benefitted the state in terms of its operation. He expressed dismay that half of what was generated as IGR went to consultants at the detriment of the state.
The amendment, Collins said, would reduce the volume of money that the state loses through consultancy.
“We have enough manpower to do the job. What we agreed with the executive is to allow the Board of Internal Revenue take five percent of the revenue generated, which will be used for salaries and personnel cost of the agency with appropriation that will come from the House of
Assembly before the fund will be used,” he said.
He stated that the House of Assembly is not after witch hunting anybody or agency, but trying to make laws that will help the state boost its revenue to achieve its lofty ideals of rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of the state.