Abia’s economic blueprint targets N1.5b IGR
Biometric scheme saves N160m from ghost workers
A plan for new era in Abia State may have begun with improvements on infrastructure and plugging of leakages that would help it realize a target of N1.5 billion in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the next one year.
The state, which has been bedeviled with poor development initiatives, is currently generating N400 million monthly, as well as huge number of ghost workers eating deep into the state’s treasury.
The state’s economic management team, led by Sam Hart, while speaking with journalists in Lagos, at the weekend, said the new era, led by Dr, Okezie Ikpeazu, has taken off with the rehabilitation of the critical infrastructure to broaden the revenue base of the sub-national government.
Meanwhile, the state has opened a One-Stop investment centre, with a seven-day business registration process and access to logistics for commencement of business.
It has also established a marketing board to find markets for its farmers and commodities, as well as preserves products, while the standards board is underway, to ensure quality and pride in made in Aba products.
The team leader said the state is now ready to identify its funding needs and the avenues to meet them, together with proper prioritization and study of best practices from others.
To start with, the state has engaged in massive reorientation of staffers of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, reorganizing the organizational structure and operational procedure, deploy revenue enforcement tools- mobile gates and courts for optimal collection, as well as media campaign to encourage compliance.
Already, N160 million has been saved through the implementation of the biometric validation of workers in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Speaking on the strategy to reduce the state’s recurrent expenditure, Hart said that five vendors have been selected from 18 that sought the job, which will offer about N300 million cost savings model from the usual payment of N2.5 billion monthly.
The new strategy would basic details of staff and reconfirmed by the Permanent Secretary and Directors of Administration and Finance of each MDA.
Reiterating that the strategy of increasing state’s revenue would be successful, Heart said that Abia, which is surrounded by seven states, would only need a facelift to regain its lost patronage, especially with the expected commencement of the Geometric’s energy transmission soon.
He pointed out that the state Governor had offered private universities a N100 million incentive to woo them to the state, as part of private sector friendly/accountability initiative.