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NewsYour revenue generation formula is "Disheartening", Commissioner tells Kaduna LG Chairmen  

Your revenue generation formula is “Disheartening”, Commissioner tells Kaduna LG Chairmen  

Femi Mustapha

 

Kaduna State Commissioner
for Local Government Affairs, Shehu Muhammad, has described
the revenue generation of the 23 local Government Chairman in the  state as  “Disheartening”,calling on them to improve of their revenue generation for grass-roots development.

 

He  asserted this during a one-day public policy dialogue with the theme, ‘Strengthening Local Government Fiscal Sustainability and Service Delivery in Kaduna State’.

 

According to him, the Chairmen can’t even raise up to 40 or 50 per cent of the expected revenue in 2021.

 

Speaking further at the dialogue which was organized by Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government Affair and Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), he said out of the 23 LGAs in Kaduna, none of them are viable in any term.

“This simply meant that we will continue to be perpetually dependants on the federation account to survive and it is very dangerous and unproductive as far as grassroots development is concerned

“No consultant can help you raise the revenue profile in your LGAs, you have to do it yourself because you all went round while contesting for elections so you know your terrains and therefore come up with ideas to tackle the challenge.

 

“Those issues were the key questions we asked and examined you during interviews when you applied for the LG chairmanship seats in your respective LGAs,” he said.

Muhammed, however, noted that the Chairmen were faced with resource constraints, stressing that they could do something out of nothing.

 

He said community participation in governance is also key.

“Town hall meeting doesn’t mean anything to some of the Chairmen, them, but it means a lot because meaningful contributions and comments can come up which should be considered and will further serve as solutions to some of the challenges”, he said.

Earlier, Mr Yusuf Goje, Leader, Secretariat of LGAM, said the essence of the dialogue was to brainstorm on new strategies towards improving revenue collection in LGAs.

 

He noted that their observations in the course of their engagements were increased citizens influence into LG budgets, which however did not translate substantially into service delivery regarding the needs of the citizens.

“We believe in a forum like this, new ways, strategies, challenges will be brought out and agree to ways towards addressing them to enable LGAs have more fund to carry out projects that are being nominated by the citizens.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mr. Murtala Dabo, lamented that none or few of the LGAs can survive without JACK.

He, however, noted the constrain by LGA in collecting revenue where the Kaduna State Government restricted it to the Internal Revenue Service.

He pledged the commission’s commitment towards ensuring remittance of the revenue collected to the LGAs, however, noting the insignificant amount being raised by them.

“When checked the amount the LGAs generates, if remitted to them you will ask yourself if it can even pay salaries alone, the message here is the performance of the Chairmen regarding their income to fulfil their promises to their citizens.

 

“The Chairmen must device means of raising their revenues, lets not even talk about remittances, how much do they generate? , he asked.

 

Speaking on behalf of the Chairmen, Mr Abubakar Buba,  Chairman of Lere LG, said they were working hard to fulfil their campaign promises even amidst scarce resources.

Represented by Haruna Kargi, he added that all the LG chairmen have keyed into open government participation in their communities in the areas of implementation, evaluation, monitoring and reporting.

Buba noted that at various LGAs, the communities are taking ownership of projects and facilities towards ensuring maximum use and maintenance

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