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Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

Bill for effective revenue collection, management in Akwa Ibom passes second reading

Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State
Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State
DENNIS UDOMA, Uyo

A bill for the effective collection and administration of revenue in Akwa Ibom state has passed second reading in the House of Assembly.
Titled; “A bill for law to make provision for the administration and collection of Revenue due to Akwa Ibom state and, to establish the relevant administrative structures/other matters connected there with”, when passed into law will boost the revenue profile of the state.
The House members, who unanimously supported the passage of the bill, had earlier argued that, it was necessary for the state to look inward by devising means to improve its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), collection especially in the face of current dwindling oil prices.
Leading debate on the bill, House Leader, Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan explained that, the intention for the bill was not to scrap the already established state Internal Revenue Service but, that it was intended to inject more professional expertise in the revenue generation and management system while encouraging efficiency.
According to him, “The bill is principally intended to set up a framework to ensure the proper administration of internal revenue of Akwa Ibom state. This bill is not seeking to scrap the Internal Revenue Service but, seeking to ensure that, there is proper and effective administration of our revenue by professionals”.
He also hinted that, the bill would also give the revenue collection and administration body of the state, self-accounting status adding that, revenue personnel would be exposed to more professional training and re-training.
The lawmaker disclosed that, following the current national economic situation, it was pertinent for the state to diversify from oil revenue from the federal government hence, the need to boost the IGR of the state through the passage of the bill.
Also, the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nse Essien corroborated the House Leader noting that, an increase in revenue to the state would translate to an increase in the tempo of development and urged members to support the bill.
“This bill seeks to block some loopholes in the revenue collection system. It also seeks to establish a 13-man managerial structure comprising of professionals. Mr. Speaker, the government desires to look inwards into its revenue drive to fill the gap arising from the current economic situation” said, Hon. Essien.
On his part, the member representing Essien Udim, Hon. Nse Ntuen, argued on the need for the House to closely monitor the activities of those that will be serving on the board of the revenue agency to ensure that the good intentions of government are achieved.
The law makers, were of the opinion that, since the emergence of the present administration, a lot of revenue has been recovered thereby throwing their weight behind speedy passage of the bill by the House adding that, the sustainable development agenda of the state government can only succeed with adequate funding and, commended the idea behind the bill they described as timely.
Speaker, Rt. (Hon.) Onofiok Luke, while commending the members for their contributions, committed the bill to the House committee on Appropriation and Finance for in-depth study and report back to the House within one week.

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