Oyo Govt. Sets Up Agency For Planning, Development Control

oyo-stateThe Oyo State Government, has set up a Bureau of Planning and Development Control, to fast track the ongoing infrastructural development and urbanisation of the state, as an integral part of the modernization efforts by the state governor.

The bureau would also be tasked with eliminating indiscriminate and illegal physical development across the state.

This was disclosed on Monday at a press briefing by the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, at the end of the State Executive Council meeting held at the Governor’s Office Exco Chambers, Ibadan, the state capital.

Mr. Arulogun explained that the Bureau was established to step up the modernization of the physical landscape of the state, noting that the Bureau would operate as an enforcement agent for the controlled physical development of Oyo State.

He said that the government had to cut out bureaucratic bottlenecks in order to achieve more physical development projects, adding that the bureau was set up to create a more efficient process of turning around the physical landscape in the State.

“At the end of today’s State executive council meeting, the council decided after deliberations to create the ‘Bureau of Planning and Development Control’ with a view to embark on more physical developmental and control projects which would add more aesthetic value to the environment in the state.

“There is the urgent need to create an agency that will be reporting directly to the Governor. The agency will perform its roles and functions outside any ministry. The government is desirous of a department that will be more efficient in guiding development in the state.

“There is the need to conclude all projects that will change the face of the state for both the internal and external public. This is in line with Gov Ajimobi’s restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda of the administration.

The commissioner noted that the government will soon have its master plan, saying “the state government is collaborating with the World bank to have a master plan for the state. The government is also embarking on the Geographical Information System (GIS) project to have a proper geographical mapping for the state.”

He also hinted that the agency, which will be headed by a Director General, would also work towards improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the State from the physical planning sector, stating that the Ministry of Justice had been mandated to give the agency the needed legal backing.

“The major reason for creating the agency, was to give more bite to the efforts of the administration in effecting a turnaround, in our physical development. We want it to be more efficient.”

The Commissioner said there would be no need for recruitment or procurement of building and furniture for the agency that would become additional costs for the government, adding that the staffers under the concerned ministries and their offices would be used by the bureau.

Ayade Presents 2017 Budget To Cross River House of Assembly

Ayade Presents 2017 Budget To House of AssemblyThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill of 301 billion naira to the state House of Assembly.

Christened ‘Budget of Infinite Transposition’, the budget, according to the Governor, seeks to achieve three cardinal objectives of improving and expanding infrastructure through Public Private Partnership, planting the tree of the state future revenue generation and gradual industrialization of the state.

Giving a breakdown of the budget, N81,142,339,895.32 is allocated for recurrent expenditure while N220,060,873,053.48 is allocated for capital expenditure.

The recurrent expenditure represents 24.8% of the budget while the capital expenditure represents 75.2% of the budget estimate.

He said that the state intends to fund the budget from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Statutory Allocation, Capital Receipts and Projected Investor Revenue from Direct Foreign Investments.

According to the estimate, N81,142,339,895,32 is expected to be generated through IGR, N41,676,220,113.64 from statutory allocation, 76,070,524,023.85 from donor agencies, 38,474,892,065.29 from the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Fund and 63,839,236,850.70 from revenue from investments.

Making the presentation, Ayade informed the Assembly that it was the desire of his administration in 2017 to focus on the superhighway because it is the main energy that will open up the vista of opportunities for prosperity.

Describing the size of the appropriation bill as ambitious, Ayade said he was optimistic that it can be achieved because when there is cash deficiency, the intellect takes over.

Labour Union Promises To Support Osun State To Grow Revenue

Rauf Aregbesola and Osun State Labour Union on revenueThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Osun State Chapter, has assured the State government that workers in the state would continue to partner with it, to ensure that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is improved.

They believe that revenue growth would enable the government meet its statutory duty.

The State Chairman of the union, Jacob Adekomi, gave the assurance on Thursday ‎while speaking to Channels Television in Osogbo the State’s Capital.

The NLC chairman said Governor Rauf Aregbesola, in response to a letter written to him by the labour unions, promised to look into the general welfare of the workforce in the state.

The Governor, according to him, has directed that the 2014 and 2015 leave bonus of the workers be approved for payment.

He stated that the Governor at a meeting with all the Labour leaders in the state assured them that the arrears of salaries owed workers on Grade Level Eight and above would be paid as soon as funds were available.

“The Labour leaders wrote a letter to the Governor, demanding for full payment of salaries, from July last year for Level Eight and above, also demanding for the withdrawal of the circular prohibiting promotion confirmation and arrears of pension to be paid and also welfare packages for the workers generally.

“The Governor invited us for a meeting ‎last week and there the Governor said he knows he is owing us, those arrears of salaries and he is going to pay.

“He even encouraged us to look inward to do a lot of things to improve the IGR so that the IGR can be used to augment the allocation coming from the Federal Account.

“He has said that if he has more than enough to pay full salaries, he will pay,” the union leader stated.

“The Governor also said that if he had more than enough money in Osun, ‎he can even increase our salaries and give the committee involved to pay more than what the workers are earning now. He only tasked us to go to all agencies to encourage them to pay their taxes and do their civic duties so salaries can be paid as at when due,” he also told reporters.

On the issue of the tertiary institutions’ lecturers that were disengaged earlier this year, Mr Adekomi said that the Governor had told them that the Speaker of the House of Assembly in the state had forwarded the report of the committee to him.

He said that the Governor had also promised that he would look into the report and take action on it.

“We a have a good relationship with the State government and as far as we are concerned we have no problem with him.

It is only the money that is not there that is the issue,” he added

Okorocha Presents 102bn Naira 2016 Budget

BudgetGovernor Rochas Okorocha State has presented a 102-billion-Naira budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year before the Imo State House for Assembly.

The Governor made the budget presentation on Tuesday at the hallow chamber in Owerri, the capital of Imo State in southeast Nigeria.

Governor Okorocha explained that the budget, which was tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation and Continuity’, showed that 43.1 per cent of the total budget was proposed for capital expenditure while 56.9 per cent was proposed for recurrent expenditure.

He disclosed that the budget targeted 23 billion Naira from the Imo State’s share of the Federal Allocation, 17 billion Naira from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and 148 billion Naira from Excess Crude Oil among others.

The former presidential candidate hinted that the budget was anchored on free and qualitative education from primary to tertiary level, rapid industrialisation, efficient healthcare delivery, agricultural development.

He added that the budget would also concentrate on infrastructure development and substantial provision, saying it would be channelled towards the completion of all ongoing projects while new projects of high priority would also receive attention in line with the state’s medium term expenditure framework.

Governor Okorocha maintained that the Budget performance was affected by the sharp drop in allocation from the Federation Account, which adversely affected the revenue profile of Imo State during the period, stressing that the 2016 budget was 39 billion Naira lesser than that of 2015.

Kano State To Boost Internally Generated Revenue

kanoKano State Government says it is utilizing both tab and non-tab revenue sources in order to meet up with the state revenue generation drive which is currently at only 13 per cent collection.

Addressing a five-day conference on enhancing revenue generation in Kano State, the State Commissioner for Finance, Prof. Mukhtar Dandago, said that experts were also mobilized to technically assist government in generating more revenue.

Report says that in recent times, Kano State receives only about 1.5 billion naira monthly as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is now said to have dropped to less than 1.3 billion naira.

This situation has been blamed on lack of training and capacity building of revenue officers in the state.

Prof Dandago said that the recent revenue collection in the state cannot finance the state’s recurrent expenditure projects, due to the inability of government to tap all sources of revenue collection for preceding years.

Prof Dandago however said that the Government has already established an implementation committee to execute the recommendations of the state IGR committee, in addition to hiring of experts to advice government on the possible ways forward.

Kano State is said to have a debt of over 300 billion naira to settle, in addition to financing new projects introduced by Governor Ganduje during the last 100 days of his administration.

Fashola Re-Iterates Support For Independence Of Judiciary

Governor-FasholaLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Friday while attending the New Legal Year Dinner (2014/2015), reiterated his total support for the independence of the Judiciary which he described as a necessary requirement for the sustenance of democratic governance.

The Governor who spoke at the City Hall, Lagos against the backdrop of a recent court judgement which pronounced financial autonomy for the judiciary said the truth is that the court decision has created some challenges when considered against the backdrop of practical realities in funding budget proposals.

“The truth is that there has been a decision that has created some difficulty and in the tradition of our profession, the right to contest a decision that creates difficulty is a right that we have come to take as almost God given, challenging to seek to modify it and where possible to seek to reverse it. That is not the same thing as disagreeing with an independent judiciary.

“An independent judiciary is a necessary requirement for the sustenance of our democracy and the rule of law but a judgment has been given that all of the monies standing to the credit of the judiciary must be paid to it”, he stated.

He, however, explained that the practicability of the situation is that whenever a budget proposal is presented at the beginning of the year, the cash to fund that budget is not in anyone’s pocket but accrues on a day to day basis.

He added that in a State like Lagos, the cash to fund the budget comes from a combination of monthly remittances from the Federal Government which is paid at the end of the month and the daily payment that accrues from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as well as renewal of permits and payment for Land Use Charge among others.

“I would like to learn the practicality of collecting those money on a day to day basis and handing them over to the judiciary. That is the difficulty that we are facing and we are thinking of how to find a practical solution to giving effect to what we belief in, which is that the judiciary must be self accounting. We have no problem at all about it. We have appealed but we are not disagreeable to working out a solution”, he stated.

The Governor who also spoke about concerns being expressed by some people on the issue of ensuring that justice is done in terms of a collapsed structure of a faith based organization that resulted in loss of life gave a commitment that justice would be done.

“Let me assure you that justice would be done but we would not resort to mob justice because that is not our way, this government is a government of methods. When incidents like these happen, there is a mixture of tragedy, possible accidents and possible crimes. It is only by painstaking investigations, collection of evidence that we can really get to the root of the matter”, he said.

The Governor reiterated that at the point when he went to the scene, emergency responders were still at the stage of rescue, trying to see if more lives could be saved and that some people were impeding the operation of the emergency responders hence he had to ask such people to leave.

He said his visit turned out to be fortuitous because one person was brought out alive noting that another hour under the rubble may have been fatal for the survivor.

According to the Governor, with the completion of that process evidence have been gathered while tests are going on in the way the law requires the State Government to proceed, stressing that: “We are at the next stage when those who lost loved ones are grieving and want to bury them and we need to assist them to deal with the very painful part. We are struggling to identify bodies”.

“We have opened up a centre asking people to come forward who are relatives so that they can give tissues and samples so that we can begin a very difficult and painful process of DNA identification. That is the point where we are, without prejudice to the investigation that is going on. That is where we are. We would not be stampeded into doing anything that is not supported by the processes and methods that are in consonance with the law.

 

Oshiomhole Calls On Judiciary To Support Taxation In Edo

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has pleaded with the judiciary in the state to support the state’s tax regime with a view to developing the state.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders seminar on Tax Laws in Benin City yesterday, Oshiomhole urged members of the bar that recognize that when laws have been passed they are not meant to be convenient and should be obeyed as long as they are not in breach of the constitution.

The Governor who was speaking in the light of the various court injunctions against its tax laws said the land use charge is not peculiar to Edo State rather they are trying to domesticate what they have in Lagos.

Comrade Oshiomhole said he delights to see Edo State developed hence the emphasis on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as the state cannot move ahead on the basis of Federal allocations adding that the best protection for the rich is for the poor to be cared for.

Earlier the Chief Judge of Edo State, who was the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Justice Cromwell Idahosa said taxation is a touchy issue which has to be taken seriously.

He however urged the people to pay their taxes in the light of consequent development it has brought to Edo State.

The Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, Ambassador Eheneden Erediawa who also threw his weight behind the tax laws said taxes are sources of income for development in developed nations.

Guest lecturer on the occasion and former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mrs Ifueko Omogui-Okauru pointed the need for emphasis on IGR. She however urged government to deal with the issue of double taxation.

The Land Use Act is a tax law in Edo State that mainly requires opulent members of the society to pay taxes on the lands they possess.