By Esho Ayemoba
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state is exploring new areas to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to shore up shortfalls from its revenue streams.
Obaseki, made the disclosure after a closed door meeting with heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), responsible for collecting revenues in Edo State.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the governor said the shortfall is attributable to a Court judgement stopping the state from collecting tenement rates.
Obaseki however noted that he has instructed revenue collectors in the state to ensure efficient collection of property taxes.
He said, “I am here to meet with heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies responsible for collecting revenue in the state to see what plans we have in place to recover from shortfalls.
“We have a major shortfall in the areas of property taxes because of a judgement which stopped the state from collecting tenement rates. So, we are dropping the issue which is quite unfortunate because tenement is supposed to go to the local government.
“In the meantime, I have given instructions that property taxes must be collected as that is the basis on which we can continue to run the government. We cannot build any more roads, drainages, and attend to the needs of citizens without taxes.”
The governor further stated, “We don’t expect those that don’t have money to pay taxes but rather the people that own properties; they are major stakeholders of the economy and are those we are expecting taxes from.
“We are about 80 percent of where we are expected to be. We have a 20 per cent deficit in the first six months of this year 2022 and it’s different from where we are expected to be. But we are working hard to achieve our goal as far as revenue generation is concerned in Edo State.”