Benue State is targeting an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.2 billion per month. The state is also targeting tax drive as part of the avenue to generate its IGR.
The state generated between N200 million to N300 million, per month in the past administration, the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom told journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
“What we met on ground was between N250 million – N300 million, but my target is to boost that to at least N1.2 billion for a start,” he said.
Emerging from a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor said having blocked all loopholes of syphoning funds, he had succeeded in paying salaries from May to July, and will soon embark on clearing the salary arrears, pension and gratuity inherited by his government.
He said no culprit had yet been caught for syphoning public funds, saying “if you are involved, you will be apprehended and sanctioned and for now, where we took off, if anybody diverts public funds, there is no waste of time at all you will be apprehended immediately.
“I have said that and it has become a slogan in Benue State that when you chop money, money will chop you, and people are already sitting up and of course, if you escape Benue and come to Abuja, Buhari will arrest you, and everybody knows what this administration stands for, and that is the change we need in this country.”
On whether Benue is buoyant enough to undertake further development programmes, he said the state was already looking at other various sources of improving its revenue, not just getting from the federation account.
The state, he said, has also begun a tax drive, encouraging citizens to pay taxes as part of efforts to generate fund, saying, “we will boost internally generated revenue and collect taxes we are encouraging our people to do it because no one will divert their money again. And so whatever they pay as taxes will be turned back for the development of the state.”
The state government owed about N12 billion to the workers and pensioners as backlog of salary arrears among others. The workers had received their last pay in November 2014, before the takeover of the new administration in May 2015.