Recession: Ortom Reads Riot Act To LG Chairmen Over Financial Impropriety

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom


The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has charged the 23 elected local government chairmen on transparent utilization of funds in order to improve on their Internally Generated Revenue to cope with the challenges brought by the economic recession.

Governor Ortom gave the charge on at a two-day management training on technical and administrative competence in the state.

He urged them to live above board, noting that a single act of financial indiscretion could lead to difficult times for the people whose safety and welfare is top priority.

Read Also: Again, Nigeria’s Economy Slips Into Recession

The governor also advised the administrators of the third tier of government to look inward in the face of the recession as looking up to the state and federal government, which have their own challenges, would amount to a waste of time, if they do not add value themselves.

Oyo Govt. Warns Against Sabotage Of Internally Generated Revenue

Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo State, Paris ClubThe Oyo State Government has warned that it will not tolerate any individual, group, investor or organisation seeking to sabotage its Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) drive, saying that whoever conspires to defraud the state government would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi pronounced this warning through his Special Adviser, Solid Minerals, Hon. Mathew Oyedokun, during a meeting with major stakeholders of mining industries to resolve the revenue collection dispute with Quarries in Oyo State at the Conference Hall, Office of the Head of Service, Secretariat, Ibadan.

Governor Ajimobi said that the state government will not allow the activities of any individual or group to hinder the state in its revenue generation drive, cautioning that any form of harassment or intimidation against revenue officers will not be tolerated.

In his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, ACP Gafar Arowolo (rtd) stated that adequate security measures have been put in place to enhance the implementation of revenue payments to government coffers, advising that all major stakeholders in the state should obey the law of the land as anybody found guilty will be prosecuted.

Similarly, the state government has embarked on a wake-up sensitisation call to both private and informal business sectors in the state on the need to pay their taxes regularly and as and when due.

The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Internal Generated Revenue, Mr Biyi Oloko, explained that the sensitisation programme was very essential in order to educate and enlighten the people on the importance of regular payment of tax.

Mr Oloko stressed that: “there are many benefits in paying taxes which include provision of infrastructure, good water supply, provision of health care facilities, good education among others. Regular payment of tax would make the Government fulfill its electoral promises to the people.”

The recent effort, which took place at Challenge, Dugbe and Bodija markets and environs, gave the government officials from the Board of Internal Revenue, the opportunity to educate members of the community from one shop to another on the need to pay their taxes regularly.

Ogun Govt. Commissions Children Emergency Medical Facilities

Ogun State Govt. Advocates Community Service For PrisonersAn emergency facility to enhance child health care services has been commissioned in Ogun State, to give a leap to the desire of the state government for qualitative and affordable healthcare delivery.

The facility, a ‘one stop-shop’ for child care delivery built in the State General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, is equipped with State-of-the-art facilities including laboratory, pharmacy and doctor’s call room for 24 hour service.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye who performed the commissioning said the facility would enable children access health care service without stress, adding that the government’s focus was to make health care accessible to every child in the State.

He commended the management of the hospital for making judicious use of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the construction of the ward, assuring that similar project would be replicated in other government-owned hospitals across the State.

He explained that, to achieve the efficient health care delivery programme of the present administration, the ministry had put in place mechanism to improve efficiency among the staff and inculcated fund revolving strategy in the management of its facilities for optimal performance.

“In order to achieve the mission of the state government in the health sector, we have imbibed two strategies which are to improve efficiency and alternative ways of revolving funds so that money gotten from the sale of drugs could be used for the hospital development”, he said.

However, the Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Adesanya Ayinde, noted that pediatricians had been engaged to deliver services that would meet the unique needs of children during emergency.

“We understand that our children need proper attention, especially during emergency, that is why we have decided to separate their emergency ward from the adults”, he said.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Olukayode Oladeinde enjoined parents to give proper attention to their children to ensure a better and healthy future for them.

Governor Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue Generation

 Governor Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue GenerationRivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has inaugurated the reconstituted Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), charging the board to create a tax friendly environment in the state, while improving internally generated revenue for development purposes.

The governor urged the chairman and members of the state Board of IRS to ensure that they weather the storm of political blackmail and other forms of pressure in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Inaugurating the Board at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the governor stated that the renewed revenue drive in the state is because of the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account.

According to him, the new board was selected because of their professional competence. He therefore warned members against getting themselves involved in unproductive politics.

The governor said: “It took us time to appoint members of this all-important Board because of our search for persons who are professionally competent to achieve improved revenue.

“Members of the board were chosen strictly on their professional track record.

Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue Generation
members of reconstituted board

“We have made commitment to the Rivers people and we are determined to continue to deliver on quality projects. We can only do this with sustained revenue flow. Therefore, you must work towards blocking revenue leakages, increasing our revenue and providing more funds for development”.

Wike went on to say that if the state is able to generate up to 50 per cent of her potentials, it would easily fasten the development process.

He told the reconstituted Board that this is their opportunity to serve the state and make a positive impact on the lives of the people.

In response, Chairman of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Mr Thank God Adoage Norteh, said members of the Board are committed to delivering on the assignment of improving the revenue of the state.

He then gave an assurance that they would create a tax friendly environment and professionalise the revenue service of the state.

Furthermore, he solicited the cooperation of the leaders and people of the state as the board discharges its responsibility of generating the needed funds for development.

Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved Money

Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved MoneyThe Osun House of Assembly has warned Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the state against extra budgetary spending.


The House Committee Chairman on Finance and Appropriation, Mr Kamil Oyedele, gave the warning when the management of the State Ministry of Information, Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture appeared to defend its N435 million budget for 2017.

Oyedele, who noted that many of the MDAs were in the habit of spending unapproved money, said the Assembly would no longer accept such action.

He said that any head of MDAs caught spending unapproved money, would be handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Kamil said Section 32 of the state’s Appropriation Law clearly states that no money should be spent outside the amount approved in the budget.

He said in line with Section 224 and 225 ICPC, spending unapproved government money was an offence.

According to Kamil, spending money not approved by the Assembly is criminal, adding that MDAs should always inform the Assembly for approval for extra money for developmental projects.

Kamil urged the MDAs to familiarise themselves with the public procurement law recently passed by the Assembly to guide them on government spending.

Also speaking, the House Committee Chairman on Information and Strategy, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged MDAs to support government drive to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Oyintiloye said government needed improved revenue to meet the yearning of the people.

He also charged the Ministry to engage in proper dissemination of government activities.

The House Committee Chairman on Environment, Mr Ajibola Akinloye, frowned at poor services been rendered by the State Fire Service which is under the Ministry.

Akinloye said that there had been complaint of slow response of the fire fighters to fire outbreaks in the state, adding that such attitude was not good for the state.

In her response, the Coordinating Director of the Ministry, Mrs Webster Esho, said that they would continue to do their best in the proper dissemination of government activities.

On the poor response of the fire service to fire disasters in the state, Esho said that lack of personnel and necessary facilities were the major challenge.

Management of State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) and Reality Radio Vision Services also appeared before the committee.

While OSBC presented N658 million budget for 2017, Reality Radio Vision Services budget was N133 million for the year.

Imo Govt. Floats New Airline Says It Will Boost State Economy

Imo Govt. Floats New Airline Says It Will Boost State EconomyThe Imo state government has taken delivery of the first air craft to kick start the first state owned commercial airline named Imo Air.

During the official launch of the new airline at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha said the investment by the state government is to boost its economic activities.

He also believes that it would increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, as well as generate employment opportunities for its teaming unemployed youths.

The Governor noted that it has been his dream and sincere desire to position Imo state on the fast lane of development, prosperity and growth, adding that he won’t rest on his oars until that dream is realised.

He also said that Imo is not affected by the much-talked about recession in the country because according to him, some people might wonder why the state would dabble into airline business in time of recession.

“This is a happy moment in the state. The aim of going into the air business is because I want to drive traffic to Imo state as Imo is genuinely becoming the fastest developing City outside Abuja and Lagos.

“For this, there is need for more airlines to cushion the effects of high traffic coming to the state,” he added.

Furthermore he stated that the “Imo government does not have an operating air license. So we needed to partner with a good and qualified airline operator, hence, the choice of DANA Air because of its proven track record and sincerity of purpose.

“The Imo Air will be operated by DANA and we have a contract of ten years with them. We have five of this aircrafts and the first one has just landed and four others will start operation in few weeks time.

“The International Cargo Airport will soon kick-start to supplement the efforts of Imo Air.

“Work is going on smoothly and by April, the fastest International Cargo Plane will arrive Imo State. This, we believe will help drive up commercial activities in the state.

“Imo is a hub for business and there is no better place to invest now in Nigeria than Imo state. Inspite of the recession, the state is still flourishing and progressing because of its visionary leadership,” Okorocha said.

He also hinted that “Imo Air will offer a 10% discount to all indigenes of the state flying the Plane and the operation will equally employ over 30% of Imo sons and daughters to help in the management of the Imo Air”.

Some dignitaries present at the event lauded the initiative of the state government, stating that it would go a long way to address the shortfalls in air transport in the south east and Nigeria as a whole.

The Commissioner for Work and Transport, Josephine Udoji said “When we launched our Imo Mass Transit buses, we engaged not less than 300 unemployed youths.

“Today they are earning not less than 30,000 Naira and some are earning 50,000 Naira from that project.

“We also came and saw the need to launch the Cabs which we did at a subsidised price so our people can now be owners of cars.

“People are also employed in that sector. Today I have on my desk not less than 473 applications from unemployed youths and they are the people we are going to engage for the services of this Imo Air.

“By all these policies, I think we’ve been alleviating the sufferings of the poor unemployed youths in Imo state.

All our projects are centered on human development.” She said.

2017 Budget: Edo State’s Obaseki Proposes 150bn Naira

Godwin Obaseki To Present Edo State's 2017 Budget On MondayEdo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has presented a 2017 Appropriation Bill of 150 billion Naira to the State House of Assembly.

He told the lawmakers in the southern Nigerian state that the budget would help fast track economic and social transformation of the state.

Governor Obaseki, who christened the 2017 budget “Budget of Consolidation and Prosperity”, pointed out that it was wrapped around six key policy areas.

“Mr Speaker, we have proposed a budget size of 150.011, billion Naira which is a nominal 29% increase over 2016 budget estimates made up of 74.900 billion Naira as Recurrent Expenditure and 75.111 billion Naira as Capital Expenditure.

“The revenue estimates are based on a $42.0 benchmark for crude oil and average daily production of 1.9 million barrels per day and expectations of improved performance of Internally Generated Revenue.

“Hence we will maintain a balance of capital to recurrent expenditure (50%: 50%) in line with our plan to spend our way out of recession,” he stated.

The governor said the budget would have a deficit of 25 billion Naira for 2017 which would be funded mainly by external borrowing from the third tranche of the World Bank budget support facility.

He named the six key policy areas of the 2017 budget to include Economic Revolution, Healthcare services, Infrastructure development, Institutional Reforms, Environmental sustainability, social welfare enhancement and Culture and tourism.

Governor Obaseki, while reviewing the 2016 budget, noted that “the crises we face today are not insurmountable, with focussed planning, discipline and faith in God, we can develop a modern and progressive Edo State, where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness”.

The Governor further said that 7.5 billion Naira had been set aside for investment; 22.2 billion Naira for economic sector; 22.3 billion Naira for infrastructure, development and upgrade; 3.2 billion Naira for pension scheme; 6.05 billion Naira for outstanding gratuities and pension and 6.6 billion Naira to rebuild infrastructure of institutions in 2017.

He further told the lawmakers that the “budget of Consolidation and Prosperity clearly outlines our first priorities and serves as our compass to the future we seek”.

Governor  Obaseki pointed out that building a new society for Edo State would depend on the timely implementation of reforms to further boost business climate, attract private investment, improve the state’s social welfare and foster needed development.

“In this task, our government will shun all acts of corruption. We shall hold all accountable and will aggressively ensure justice is meted to offenders,” he added.

Niger State Gov. Presents 108bn Naira Budget For 2017

Niger State Gov. Presents 108bn Naira Budget For 2017The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has presented 2017 fiscal year budget proposal of over 108 billion Naira to the state House of Assembly for passage.

The budget tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation’ is N22.9 billion and 21.27% more than the 2016 budget.

Governor Bello, while presenting the budget to the members of the state House of Assembly on Friday, said that the proposed budget comprises of a recurrent expenditure of N48,047,960,278 which is 44.45% of the budget and Capital Expenditure of N60,026,337,973 which is 55.55% of the budget size.

The Governor stated that the budget would be generated through Statutory Allocation of N50,695,206,724, Value Added Tax (VAT) of N8,793,474,040, Internally Generated Revenue of N12,403,874,117, Paris Club loan N13,400,000,000 and Capital Receipts of N22,781,770,379.

He further said that the budget would focus on Youth and Women Empowerment as they constitute a large part of the population; completion of projects; enhancement of IGR; re-introduction of teachers’ colleges; transformation of education and development of waterworks.

The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ahmed Marafa, in his remark, said that the lawmakers would ensure the passage of the bill in a shortest possible time and would intensify effort in monitoring the 2017 budget performance so as to provide social amenities to the people in the state.

The Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon Jonathan Vatsa,  while reacting to the budget presented by the Governor to the state House of Assembly, says that the Governor has good intentions for the people of the state focusing on youths and women empowerment and re-introduction of teachers colleges, transformation of education in the state.

Kwara Govt. Launches Scheme To Aid Infrastructural Development

Kwara, Eid-el-Kabir, MuslimsThe Kwara State government has launched a scheme called Infrastructure Development Fund (IF-K) which the state government hopes would aid infrastructural development and cushion the effect of the economic recession.

According to the state government, the scheme would help ensure that funds are available for infrastructural development. It promised that the era of abandoned projects is over in the state.

At the Council Chamber of the Government House in Ilorin, where the ceremony to launch the scheme held, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed explained that the IF-K was a tool to pool funds for infrastructure projects, optimally leverage on private sector resources for infrastructure development and channel state’s Internally Generated Revenue to directly impact economic diversification and growth strategies.

The Governor said that the fund was designed to ensure maximum quality assurance for asset and services procured by government and encourage broader and deeper interactions with the government and private partners.

“The fund will be financed through a five-billion Naira seed fund and a 500-million Naira monthly contribution from Internally Generated Revenue through an irrevocable standing payment order.

“With IF-K, all ongoing and new projects will be funded to completion before the end of the present administration.

“A board of trustees has been set up to manage and ensure payment to contractors devoid of political interference,” Governor Ahmed told the gathering.

While explaining the scheme to the various stakeholders at government house, the Director-General, Kwara Public Private Partnership and Chief Economic Assistant to the Governor, Mr Yomi Ogunsola, said that the state had joined leagues of sub-nationals that attract partnership for funding capital projects.

“The partners and stakeholders with the government will now rest assured of when to receive their money, as a trustee will be set up to monitor the projects and pay them,” he explained.

Mr Ogunsola described the IF-K model as a chain of systems that would make the state to remain viable, survive the worsening scarcity and improve the state economy.

While lauding the initiative of the state government in ensuring that delay in the payment of funding of projects is removed, a partner, Kola Ibrahim, urged the government to consider how inflation affecting the implementation of projects would be addressed since it was the fault of the government not to pay as and when due before now.

At the ceremony were stakeholders which include industrialists, bankers, captains of industries, traditional rulers, contractors, consultants and engineers.

Imo, Kebbi To Collaborate In Agricultural And Educational Development

Agricultural and educational collaboration between Imo State and Kebbi

The Imo State government says it is in partnership agreement with Kebbi State government in agricultural and educational development.

The State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, announced the plans at an executive meeting on Wednesday held at the Government House in Owerri, the capital of Imo state in south-east Nigeria.

He said that the state government was going into the partnership to tackle the current economic situation in Nigeria which had giving room for states to look inward.

Governor Okorocha said that the partnership programme would majorly be in rice production while the educational development will be in the area of Teachers training.

The Way To Go

He also told the gathering that his administration was more determined than ever to deploy all machineries to ensure that the partnership would be sustained for the benefit of Imo people, expressing hopes that Imo state would become an agrarian state which would sustain and generate more Internally Generated Revenue for the state.

Responding to comments of the delegates of Kebbi State the Governor said: “Now that you have heard from the horse’s mouth, this will now corroborate my back to agriculture policy for civil servants.

“Agriculture is still the way to go in this period of economic recession. The government will do all it can to invest in this partnership not for we the officials but for the benefits of all Imo citizens”.

The Governor also disclosed that the partnership would not only be in agriculture but also education.

Highlighting that Imo State is known for educational development and that the state has well qualified teachers, he said the state government would partner with Kebbi State government in training thousands of their teachers.

Apart from the presence of the executive members of the Imo State government, in attendance at the meeting was also the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress led by Comrade Austin Chilakpu. They all met with the Kebbi State government’s delegates led by Mr Saidu Argungu.

Kebbi State has been a success story in agriculture, especially rice production and Imo State is looking to adopt the Kebbi State template to join the list of states producing rice in large quantity in Nigeria.

Mr Argungu had earlier told the gathering that he had inspected most of the communities across Imo state where rice production could be more viable.
He said: “Imo state has all it takes to be one of the state in Africa that will become the largest producer of rice if the state government can invest in it and take farming and agriculture more seriously as the benefits and proceeds cannot be overemphasised”.

“The agricultural potential, especially in rice production, I see in Imo State since the last two days that I have been touring most of the communities is enormous.

“It is even more than the oil you have. If the government pays more attention to this rice farming, at the end of one year, Imo may be the largest exporter of rice in West Africa because Imo has water and favourable soil that is not present in other states” Mallam Argungu said.