… Tasks MDAs On IGR

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The Lagos State House of Assembly  Committee on Economic Planning and Budget yesterday urged heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to meet their required Internally-Generated Revenue targets for 2017.
The chairman of the committee, Mr Rotimi Olowo, who gave this advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, said that such step would help the government fulfil its promises to people.
According to him, availability of funds remains imperative if the government is to achieve all its set goals and plans for the state.
He said, “The message we want to pass to them (MDAs) is that many of them don’t meet the required targets and this does not help.
“We have cut the target of some and increased the target of some of them because what we discovered was that many of them could do better.
“We increased the target of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) from N20.1 billion to N30 billion this year.
“We discovered that they needed capacity and tools to perform, so we also increased their subvention to over N200 million. If at the end of the day, they don’t perform, we will cut it off.
“We are also treating some others like that; we want them to operate like the private sector so that they can meet their target.
“The only way the state can move forward is increased revenue. We need money for development and for a lot of things.
“We need a lot of money for the environment; any government agency that is not for public or social order must generate money for the government.”
He said the state does not expect money from the Ministry of Health or that of the Environment because they are for public and social order.
The chairman said the revenue target for LIRS in 2017 did not presuppose over taxation or unnecessary pressure on the people and organisations.
“The interest of the people of Lagos State is paramount to us, but really how many people are in the tax net of the state?
“We have less than 30 per cent of them in the net, so we still have 70 per cent that are not yet captured in the net.
“We will not over-tax anybody. We have over 20 million people in Lagos State,” he said.
Olowo advised both residents and MDAs to support the government in its commitment to move the state higher, stressing that the government was passionate about transforming it into a mega city.
The Assembly, on January 3, passed the state’s 2017 Appropriation Bill of N812.998 billion.
It is awaiting the governor’s assent.