From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Ogun state government has refuted rumour making the round that it over-taxed the people of the state in order to hit N5 billion internally generated revenue from the N750 million it inherited from the past administration.
The State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mrs. Olawande Muoyo, who stated this in Abeokuta while briefing journalists on the mid-year budget performance, stated that it is the federal government that fixes taxes being paid by both individuals and companies.
While clarifying that no state in the country has power to impose any tax, Muoyo stated that this would be counterproductive.
“We have continued to record huge success in our efforts to deepen and expand our Internally Generated Revenue in order to attain financial autonomy in the face of reduced levels of receipts from Federal sources. Our average monthly IGR is now N5 billion”, Muoyo said.
She assured that the government would strive to reduce its dependence on the Federation Account.
The mid-year performance of the State 2014 budget according to the Commissioner stands at 67.17 percent as at the end of June which is against 61.87 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2013 budget.
“This is in line with the on-going reforms in the State’s Financial Management System aimed at ensuring greater efficiency in the management of public funds and also enhancing service delivery” Muoyo stated.
“As we have done in the past, we wish to again stress that true performance of any government budget should be measured in teams of the impact it has on the citizenry”, adding that the budget has had a positive impact on the daily lives of the people “through the many road projects, new schools, renovated schools, free education, health facilities and low interest loans to farmers among others”.
The Commissioner mentioned massive road infrastructure development, construction of housing estates for Civil Servants, provision of adequate security for the citizenry and regular payment of workers’ salaries as some of the government’s achievements.
“The second half of the year can only be better, this is our commitment” adding that all stakeholders in the rebuilding of the state should continue to discharge their obligations to the state promptly to enable government sustain the tempo of progress and development the state is witnessing in the last three years,” Muoyo pleaded.