Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai has said the state has steadily increased its internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N13bn in 2015 to N44bn in 2019 without hiking tax rates as part of efforts to be less dependent on the federal allocation.
El-Rufai made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 25th Annual conference of the Auditors General Conference of Local governments holding in Kaduna on Tuesday.
According to the Governor, we are faced with enormous challenges and leaner resources than ever in history since the creation of Nigeria.
The governor stated that the world is facing the twin challenges of a global health pandemic and an economic slowdown, saying such a crisis has not been faced in the last one hundred years.
He noted that there cannot be a better time and a greater need for fiscal transparency and accountability than now.
According to the governor, the Kaduna State Government is working to retain its ranking as number one place for doing business in Nigeria and its position as the state that has so far attracted the highest levels of foreign direct investment this year.
“That is why we implemented the Treasury Single Account(TSA) in September 2015, and have automated our procurement process, began digitising the land registry and prohibited cash collection of government revenues.
“We are the first state to sign up to the Open Government Partnership and we have real-time monitoring of our projects all around the state.
The governor explained: “The Kaduna State government is also a keen participant in the World Bank assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
“Many state governments have also keyed into the programme by implementing fiscal sustainability plans. I am particularly proud to say that Kaduna State was adjudged the best in implementing SFTAS, having completed nine (9) out of eleven (11) key performance indicators”
This follows our steady strides to increase our capacity to collect IGR. We have raised IGR from N13bn in 2015 to N44bn in 2019 without hiking tax rates”
At this juncture, let me inform you all that in the bid to devolve our accountability and transparency, we promised and ensured that Local Government areas had full control of their funds.
Afterwards, we conducted local government elections using electronic voting to take democracy to the grassroots.
‘So, when you look at the fact that we empowered Local Government Councils to have full control of their funds and conducted elections, we can rightly say we have democratised accountability and transparency”
” For not only are the elected local government officials accountable to the laws and institutions of the land, but they are also accountable to the people, whose mandate they exercise in the first place. We believe that those elected to run affairs at the local level must be empowered to do so.”