By Femi Mustapha
In a move to improve Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) at the Local Government Level, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Kaduna state chapter isw orking with the state government to address challenges around the collection of revenues at the LGA level
The ALGON Chairman State, Mr Abubakar Buba disclosed this during a virtual event organised to commemorate Open Government Partnership (OGP) at 10, organised by Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) in conjunction with the Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
Hon. Buba who is the Chairman of Lere Local Government Council, said that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has mandated the Ministry of Finance to open dedicated accounts for the remittance of IGR collected on behalf of LGCs in the state.
He explained that the move was to address challenges around reconciliation and remittance of IGR collected by Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service on behalf of the LGCs.
With this development, according to him, each local government council will have access to a portal where they can track their revenues and ensure they get what is due to them.
He said that the Local Government Revenue Committees were currently being reconstituted, adding that the councils were now empowered to request for the replacement of non-performing collection agents.
He said that 23 LGCs with the support of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs and Planning and Budget Commission have been carrying out reforms to align with the OGP principles of transparency, accountability, and citizens’ engagement.
He explained that besides working with Community Development Charter Champions to capture community needs, the councils also hold annual budget town hall meetings to get citizens’ inputs.
Yusuf Goje, Head of Leadership, Governance and Advocacy, CALPED, said that the objective of the meeting was to provide a local perspective to the conversation on the 2021 OGP Global Summit which held between Dec. 15 and Dec. 17.
Goje said that the meeting also provided an avenue for partners to share ideas and perspectives on strengthening fiscal responsibility and open civic space for public participation in the budget process in Kaduna State.
He pointed out that Kaduna State Government debt, put at N284 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020, has surpassed most of the sustainability threshold.
He called on the State Fiscal Responsibility Commission to provide effective oversight to ensure that debt risks are within manageable levels.
He also urged the commission to ensure adherence and alignment between Medium Term Expenditure Framework and approved budgets for budget realism and credibility.
“We also want the commission to play a critical role in the implementation of reforms under the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability and Local Government Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programmes,” he said.