Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State on Monday commended the State Board of Internal for raising the state monthly Internally Generated Revenue from N1.2 billion to N5.7 billion.
Uduaghan gave the commendation before declaring open the 2013 Retreat in Asaba, organised by the Board to keep its staff abreast of the challenges of realising the objective of government policy of “Delta Beyond Oil”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the retreat was “Delta Beyond Oil: Implications and the Role of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue”.
Uduaghan said that the board’s major role was to ensure that the state’s dream of realising an economy that would not solely depend on oil was actualised.
He directed the board to post its staff to the state ministries, departments and agencies to be directly in charge of revenue collections on behalf of the government to close all leakages.
The governor added that the board must be proactive to develop critical programmes that would ensure that government realised its agenda of “Delta beyond oil”.
He said: “The chairman has just told us that the IGR has moved from N1.2 billion to N5.7 billion monthly, we want a situation where we can pay our workers’ salaries from our IGR.”
He said that if the state could take care of the workers’ salaries through the IGR, the state allocations from Abuja would be channeled into infrastructure development, agriculture, tourism, poverty alleviation programme, ICT, among others.
The governor said that because of the volatility of the oil prices in the international markets, no country or state could really survive by depending on the oil revenue alone.
“This is why the state is supporting the Federal Government power projects, building our own independent power plant, investing in transportation, roads, ICT, micro credits, agriculture and education among others,” he said.
He said that the essence was to ensure that the state survived should oil cease to exist.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board, Joel Onowakpo. said that the retreat was to properly expose the staff of the board to the challenges ahead in delivering on the agenda of the government.
Onowakpo said that “the board has increased the state IGR from N1.2 billion to N5.7 billion monthly.”
He expressed the commitment of the board to make the state government dream of “Delta Beyond Oil” a reality.
“The whole idea is for the board to generate enough funds for the state government to develop the state infrastructure and other areas,” he said.
He said that this was to enable the state government sustain the economy “with or with or without oil”.
He said that the board was mindful of its responsibilities, adding that it would develop other strategies to realise its mandate.