The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, on Monday in Lagos called on states to consider Internally Generated Revenue as a critical instrument of funding.
Ahmed said this would help in blocking leakages and ensure effective and efficient collection of revenue.
The minister said this at the opening of a three-day retreat of the Federation Account Allocation Committee with the theme: “Efficient Federation Revenue Allocation as a Nexus for National Economic Diversification.”
She said the introduction of State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability in partnership with the World Bank was to strengthen fiscal discipline and financial stability.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FAAC retreat is held every two years as part of the governance framework with the main objective of exposing new members to the workings and dynamics of the Committee and refreshing the memories of existing members.
Represented by Dr. Mahmud Dutse, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed said there must be collective efforts in ensuring overall economic stability.
The minister assured that the Federal Government was ready to help in lifting millions of Nigerians out of abject poverty by partnering with states and all other relevant stakeholders.
She said this would bring about sustainable development and improve welfare of the citizenry.
Speaking on the over-reliance on income from the Federation Account by governments as not only risky but also unsustainable, the minister stressed the need for the tiers of government to look inwards toward generating more revenue from internal sources.
Ahmed said: “We must give serious consideration to diverse sources of revenue at national and sub-national levels with a view to deploying appropriate measures to plug leakages and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in revenue collection.
“Though the conduct of economic policy is a shared responsibility of the three tiers of government in Nigeria, we must collectively sustain efforts to build a virile and stable economy.
“The states should imbibe the culture of peer learning among themselves as a way of ensuring continuous performance improvement.”
Ahmed noted that the Finance Bill 2019 was a legislation to remove deficiencies in tax laws by amending obsolete and contentious laws, saying it sought to promote fiscal equity.
She added that the bill was to align domestic laws with global best practices and boast revenues and investments in both public and private sectors.
She said: “The Finance Bill alongside the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative and other initiatives being introduced by government will enable it to significantly diversify and improve revenue generation.
“It will help toward achieving the target of revenue of GDP of 15 per cent in medium term.”