By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government has earmarked an additional N12b for the funding of new infrastructure under the state’s Infrastructure Development Fund, IF-K.
The state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who disclosed this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 137th Joint Tax Board (JTB) meeting hosted by Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), said that “our reinvigoration efforts have moved our paltry monthly average revenue of N600million in 2015 to about N1.5billion in 2016.”
According to the governor, “this positive result has encouraged us to go ahead with our plan to plough the increased revenue back into the development of infrastructure in the state through the introduction of IFK.”
The Governor said IFK has funded ongoing infrastructure in the state to the tune of about N4.7billion out of an approved N13billion, saying that another N12billion is slated for funding new infrastructure such as the first Diamond underpass in Nigeria, new campuses for KWASU at Osi, Ilesha-Baruba and Ilorin Solar-powered street lights, dualisation of major roads in the state and a new indoor sports hall for Ilorin Township Stadium.
He said: “Let me emphasise that there is no other way we have been able to pool this N25billion for infrastructure under the current economic clime without the reform of our revenue collection and management structure under KWIRS. As a state, we have come a long way politically and economically and specifically in terms of our revenue profile.”
Earlier, the National Chairman of Joint Tax Board (JTB) Mr Babatunde Fowler, had said the board has adopted the blueprint of the Kwara State Government for other states of the federation to follow, saying “without taxation, Nigeria cannot move forward.” Mr Fowler called on state governments to emulate the Kwara model by granting autonomy to tax agencies for maximum results promising that such gesture would not be abused by the agencies.
Also speaking, Chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Dr Muritala Awodun, thanked the state governor for his support to the service since inception and, especially, the opportunity to host the Joint Tax Board.