Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State says that the state targets N10 billion internally generated revenue through taxes, levies and other sources by the time he leaves office in 2019, planning to raise revenue by 30 percent from the present monthly revenue of N7 billion.
The governor, who spoke at the Government House in Abeokuta during a breakfast meeting with members of the Organised Private Sector on Wednesday, stated that his administration improved the internally generated revenue from N730 million at inception to an average of between N6 billion and N7 billion monthly.
BusinessDay reports that the meeting attracted about 70 captains of industry, which preceded the seventh edition of National Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics that kicked off on Wednesday, and will end Thursday with the presence of Yemi Osinbajo, acting President at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
Speaking on the finances of the state among the comity of Nigerian states, Governor Amosun decried Nigeria’s Tax Policy, which accrues all company taxes, value added tax and various types of taxes to Federal Government at the detriment of states where all the resources and industries domicile without recourse to the popular 13 percent derivation funds payable to all oil-producing states.
Consequently, the governor appealed to entrepreneurs and investors operating in the state to always remit their taxes appropriately to the state, adding that the task of providing security for lives and property was stretching the resources of the state and taking toll on the state’s finances since he claimed to have often disguised at odd hours to ensure adequate security of residents.
Amosun however noted that funding challenges had become overwhelming in the country to the extent that many states in the country could not perform optimally, adding that no state governor would want his state to be underdeveloped.
He said, “I can speak for my brother governors; there is no governor that would want his state not to be doing well. But sometime when you are overwhelmed, you have challenges and you don’t know what to do. That’s why everybody is thinking out of the box, creating some initiatives to get out of these financial challenges that we find ourselves.”
For the security, the governor said his administration had invested heavily in security equipment, vehicles and logistics towards curbing incidents of kidnapping, robbery and other violent crimes, explaining that the challenge of providing security, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway where religious activities regularly take place, had been much more expensive.
He said, “If you know what we go through every week to secure people; we are happy that we (Ogun) are the religious capital of Nigeria in a way. But it comes with huge challenge on us. Every weekend when they are having Holy Ghost (Congress), NASFAT is having its own, Mountain of Fire and all of them, we take it upon ourselves.
“Aside from the fact that we run round to make sure the road is secured, which is even difficult to achieve, we on our own get plain-cloth people. Even at some point in time, I would disguise in vehicle going round as well.
“I attend services with them because they (security men) are there with gadgets to ensure that we do not have the incidents of bombing and what have you. We do it every week.
“Look at the challenges we are having now with kidnapping. If you see what we are investing; we are buying several equipment such that we just nip this (kidnapping) in the bud.
Without security, nobody will come and invest here. So, we are spending a lot of money in all of those areas.”
On railway infrastructure, Governor Amosun restated his commitment to executing standard gauge railway project, and revealed that some investors and development partners are willing to provide about $2 billion to fund the project, just he expressed optimism that the rail project would reduce undue pressure on the state’s roads.