Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, says the state has achieved growth in its average monthly Internally Generated Revenue from N600m in 2015 to N2.2bn in the first quarter of 2018.
Ahmed disclosed this at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s fourth annual National Peer Learning Event, held on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the state was in 2014 confronted with difficult economic challenges on account of a significant drop in generated revenue and development in the global economy, which impacted its revenue negatively.
He said that in that year, the defunct Kwara State Board of Internal Revenue was averaging about N600m, which he said was incapable of augmenting allocations to pay salaries or fund the state infrastructure.
He said, “In that same year, a study of the infrastructure needs of Kwara State identified a N255bn gap.
“This discovery led to the Kwara State Infrastructure and Financing Strategy, a comprehensive and targeted plan to systematically close the infrastructure deficit.’’
He said this was why the state government had to embark on urgent financing strategies and reforms in its revenue generation.
These, he said, included the passage of the necessary laws, signing of the Kwara State Revenue Administration Law, and replacing the state BIR with Kwara State Internal Revenue Service.
He said, “Based on these challenges, KWIRS achieved growth as of 2015 to a monthly average of N1.45bn in 2016, a monthly average of 1.75bn at the end 2016, and a monthly average of 2.2bn at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
“On account of these growths in our internal revenue, we have consistently been able to augment monthly federal allocation to ensure prompt payment of salaries.
“It also helps to fund major projects, introduce new ones and pays office existing debts owed to contractors in the state.’’