The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Wednesday, February 26, 2020 assented to the amendment to Imo State Revenue Administration Law 2020 as part of efforts to boost the economy of the state. He said the law will improve the revenue base of the state by closing revenue leakages as a result of engagement of multiple consultants who siphon the state treasury.
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 was in violation of the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.
He said that 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, according to him, will be subject to appropriation by the State House of Assembly.
Explaining further, he noted 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.
Also speaking, the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins said that the law before its amendment, which is similar to Lagos State Revenue Law, has not benefitted 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.
Chiji further reiterated that the House of Assembly is not after witch hunting anybody 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.