BY VICTORIA IKEANO
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has set a new revenue target for the State’s Internal Revenue Board chaired by Alhaji Ahmad Yakubu Muhammed. This followed achievement of the old target of one billion naira monthly set for it. The new target is three billion naira per month. Answering a question in an interview with this correspondent at its Lafia headquarters, Executive Chairman of the Board maintained that the new mark is achievable, adding that the state revenue board had put measures in place to ensure that the new target is met.
He disclosed, “What we met as at the first month was N430 million collected monthly. So in the first month when we came in we had monthly collection of betweenN400 million and N500 million but as I speak, from what we have put in place, we have reached a target of N1.2 billion monthly. You can see it is almost three times what we met. Initially we were given a target of one billion naira monthly, we have hit that and a new target of N3 billion monthly has been set for us by Governor Abdullahi A. Sule; we are also putting in place things that will ensure that we can meet that target. It is not insurmountable, it is something that is achievable and we know we can do it”.
Among measures instituted by the Board to prevent pilferage, leakage as well as enhance its collections is automation of its processes. Alhaji Muhammad explained, “Since we came in we have put many things in place to ensure that we improve revenue generation in Nasarawa state. One of the first things we did was to automate our processes and procedures; we have also stopped the usage of manual receipts, we now use electronic receipts, these are some of the areas whereby you find pilferages and leakages. We have a billing system where we generate invoices, our payments are done electronically, through all the channels – from banks to the ATMs, POS and other payment platforms that you have. Thirdly, we have also introduced the Nasarawa state Harmonisation and Administration Law 2020, whereby we have harmonized revenue collection in the state, both for the state and local government”.
The Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Board Chairman concluded, “This is a major achievement of Governor Abdullahi Sule who signed the bill into law on December 31, 2020. The Board of Internal Revenue is now in charge of collections of revenue, both for state and local governments; we also aid the local governments in these collections. Prior to now, the local governments were doing their things separately from the state but we saw that there were so many leakages because of the crude manner in their collections so we had to introduce automated systems and electronic means of collection in order to aid the local governments because this is a period whereby we cannot depend solely on what comes from the Federation Account, Nasarawa State has so much potentials which we have to look into and see how we can diversify and collect such revenues, that is what we are doing and we are really seeing progress in that”.