By Ochiaka Ugwu
Amidst dwindling fortune of crude oil in the international market, the Niger state Governor and chairman, North Central Governor’s Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has harped on the imperative of diversifying the State economy.
This step, Governor Bello noted has become necessary following the inconsistency in the prices of crude oil.
Gov. Bello restated this commitment when he led a delegation to pay a congratulatory visit to Mohammed Mamman Nami, on his recent appointment as the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor noted that the signal has been there, from 2015, of inconsistency and decline in the economy as oil price continues to dwindle, hence the state started investing in other sectors to boost its revenue and give people confidence.
He said all the states in the country must diversify and invest in other sectors of the economy adding that, in the nearest future, proceeds from such investments would be utilized in running the affairs of government.
“Any meaningful investment will take time, it has a gestation period and we have to also work on the system”, he said.
While frowning at the attitude of some people that refuses to pay tax, the Governor explained the need for them to desist from such act, noting that such funds are needed to address infrastructural deficit and other social amenities that have been over stretched.
Gov. Bello threw his weight behind the computerization of the revenue sector, insisting that the infrastructure and logistics needed should be provided for.
Governor Sani Bello also called for synergy with the FIRS to assist the state in exploring more ways of enhancing its revenue generation drive.
In his remarks, the FIRS Chairman, Muhammed Nami lamented the poor tax payment culture in nation, describing it as the weakest in Africa because the people don’t like paying taxes. He pointed out that tax collection in the country has remained a daunting task for the organization.
He suggested the use of technology as a necessary step to reverse the trend of tax defaults. Nami also called for attitudinal change from prospective tax payers.
While assuring of FIRS’s support in enhancing its revenue generation drive, the Chairman urged the state government to key into the organization’s platform that would be introduced mutually beneficial partnership between the state and the federal government.
He appreciated Gov. Bello for leading a powerful delegation that has the Emir of Agaie, HRH Yusuf Nuhu and other top government functionaries to congratulate him on his appointment.
The FIRS chairman also extended his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding him worthy for the job.