Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has assented to the amendment of the Imo State Revenue Administration Law 2020.
The governor says the amendment is part of moves to boost the economy of the state.
According to a press release by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachukwu, the law is expected to improve the revenue base of the state and close revenue leakages occasioned by the engagement of multiple consultants who rip-off the state.
Expressing his views on the operational status of the law before the amendment, Governor Uzodimma noted: “Before now, the law provides for consultants that collect 10% of the total revenue, 10% goes to the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), 20% to ENTRACO and 10% to OCDA. At the end of the month, 50% of the IGR is gone, leaving the state with only 50% of the internally generated revenue collected.”
This he said is in violation of the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The Governor said the amendment he assented to, empowers the Board of Internal Revenue to spend 5% of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the payment of salaries of their workers and other personnel services. This expenditure, the governor said, will be subjected to appropriation by the State House of Assembly.
Governor Uzodimma explained that, with the amendment, the state now stands to gain more as
95% of the total IGR will go directly to the state coffers as against the 50% which was the old order.
Meanwhile the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins said the law before its amendment, which is similar to Lagos State Revenue Law, has not benefited the state in terms of its operation.
He expressed dismay that half of what is generated as IGR goes to consultants at the detriment of the state.
The amendment, the Speaker said, will reduce the volume of money that the state loses through consultancy. “We have enough manpower to do the job. What we agreed with the Executive is to allow the Board of Internal Revenue take 5% of the revenue generated which will be used for salaries and personnel cost of the agency with appropriation that will come from the House of Assembly before the fund will be used.
Hon. Collins further explained that the House of Assembly is not after witch hunting anyone or Agency, but trying to make laws that will help the state boost its revenue to achieve its lofty ideals of rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of the state.