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Published On: Thu, Oct 25th, 2018

I inherited N98bn bank debts, Gov. Okowa alleges

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From Osakhare Erese, Asaba

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has said that at the resumption of his administration in 2015, the state was beset with a revenue bond and indebtedness to commercial banks totaling N98 billion, while outstanding contractual obligations was N538.6 billion.
The Governor who spoke to journalists in Government House Asaba yesterday, said that the state government had been able to reduce the state’s indebtedness of N228.3 billion through revalidation, repudiation, reconciliation and value for money exercise adding that his administration remained committed to sustaining the exercise through prudent awards of contracts and payment of some key and significant projects.
While commending the State House of Assembly for its co-operation and support in reducing the deficit, the governor further disclosed that the synergy between the legislature and executive arms of government had been cordial.
He said that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) took a downturn as a result of the economic crisis, coupled with the relocation of some oil multinationals like Shell Petroleum Development Company (NNPDC), Pan Ocean Oil Servicing Companies from the state resulted in deep decline in internally revenue generation from N50billion, and N42billion in 2013, and 2014 to N40billion in 2015.
Governor Okowa noted that as part of efforts to systematically overhaul the entire revenue generation machinery such as expanding the tax payers’ base, fortify enforcement and regulatory measures, introduction of e-receipt and central billing system adding that efforts were armed at blocking leakages, as well as other fiscal management reforms which resulted in the increase of the date base for the formal sector from 1, 800 to 7, 000 while the tax payers in the informal sector increased from 5, 000 to 336, 061.
The governor, however, explained that the IGR of the state witnessed a steady growth resulting in N44 billion and N51billion being generated in 2016, and 2017 while at the end of the first half 2018 the sum of N31.2billion was generated.

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