The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, on Monday hosted tax officers from the 36 states of the federation to introduce them to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) dashboard, an innovation of the economic department of the NGF.
The initiative, according to the Director General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, was designed to help states shore up their revenue base.
Details of the event were contained in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the NGF.
Speaking to desk officers from the various states of the federation, Mr Okauru said the forum was put in place to train them on one of the NGF’s flagship projects, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Dashboard Initiative.
“The IGR Dashboard is dedicated to strengthening ongoing reforms targeted at raising the internally generated revenue of States, by actively engaging with the 37 tax authorities in the country, including the FCT,” he said.
“In the past years, we have built a strong relationship with the Executive Chairmen of the State Inland Revenue Bodies/Agencies/Services. We strongly believe that for the IGR Dashboard Initiative to succeed, it is important we maintain another layer of relationship in the space you operate. In my opinion, as Desk Officers, you are functionally the most important part of the implementation puzzle.
“You are a very crucial point of contact on all matters related to the IGR Dashboard. This is an important call in the broader context of our engagement with your State governors in the drive for strong political commitment for IGR reforms.”
He explained further that some states have since taken advantage of the initiative; but all states now have a fresh level-playing ground to take advantage of the opportunities the IGR Dashboard provides.
He said, “We expect some degree of networking among yourselves to facilitate sharing experiences. You also have a unique opportunity to request for technical assistance from the NGF Secretariat and our development partners.
“The outcome in some states back our conviction that addressing the challenges of tax administration at the sub-national level can be achieved within a short period. The NGF has taken a leading position on this by continuing to play an active role in strengthening institutional and governance systems at the sub-national level, including your Internal Revenue Agencies/Bodies/Services.
“Our support to states has been through the provision of evidence to influence policy formulation and implementation, the development of knowledge resources to strengthen reforms and the delivery of national platforms for peer learning.”
To contribute to a more coherent reform environment and fast track full rdomestication of commendable practices across all States and the FCT, he said, the NGF Secretariat also develops GUIDES for implementing reforms based on extensive experience in peer reviewing the 36 States over the last ten (10) years.
This, he added, has significantly improved the way state governments run and the overall governance climate in the country.
“In light of your important role, we will today be launching a GUIDE for the IGR Dashboard. We encourage you all to adopt the approaches documented in this GUIDE. They have worked in many States,” the DG said.
“This document also provides guidance to our in-house team in building the capacity of revenue officials at the state level. It is the reference tool at different administrative levels in the design, implementation and monitoring of tax reforms.”