National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has charged governors elected on the platform of the party to cut down wastages to be able to prepare for the future.
Secondus, who spoke at a two-day summit organised by the PDP Governors’ Forum on Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) held yesterday in Abuja, warned the governors against reliance on federal allocation.
The National Chairman of the opposition party, who was represented by National Financial Secretary, Abdulahi Maibasira, said improved revenue by itself was not enough, adding that states must demonstrate prudence in the management of resources to meet the needs of the people.
“The myriad of problems facing the country, like poor infrastructure, poverty and the likes, necessitate the need for more sources of fund.
“But increased IGR may not solve the problem. The best way to do this is to be prudent in the management of resources. There must be a cut down in waste to be able to prepare for tomorrow,” he said.
Secondus expressed the hope that the summit would find solutions to the revenue issues hindering the performances of government, and advised the summit to examine issues of taxation, double taxation, secret tax codes, the ease of doing business, and the structure of government.
“We need to make revenue base count and make the country work. We can’t get the country working unless we do the needful,” Secondus stated.
He stressed the need for increased revenue to match the increasing population and expenditure by government, adding, “we want to ensure that tax collected is used for the actual purpose of service provision and also duly documented.”
The governors said the purpose of the summit is to explore other sources of revenue outside oil, noting that the world no longer depend on revenue from oil.
The governors, who spoke through the Director General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Osaro Onaiwu, however, explained that the summit should not be mistaken for a call for more taxes, “but rather, a call to begin to think out of the box in preparation for when Abuja cannot share as much as it does now.
“Whether money comes from Abuja or not, there will still be a need for the states to build infrastructure, pay workers, provide health care, improve education plus more.
“This forward thinking is what led to the decision by the PDP Governors’ Forum to convene this IGR summit to help bring this to the front burner of our state governors and prepare ourselves with creative ideas and solutions to improve IGR so that when enough is not coming from Abuja, the state governments would still be in a position to fulfill their obligations to the people.”
The summit has as its theme: “The Imperatives of Developing Internally Generated Revenue: Options for State Governments in a Recessed Economy.”