This Day (Lagos)

10 April 2006

Nigeria: Abuja Land Registry Nets N4bn in 2005 - El Rufai

Abuja — Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has said Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) generated over N4 Billion in 2005.

The amount, the minister said, was about N2 billion more than the 2005 target. He also said that, "It is a very good boost to strengthen the internal revenue generation strategies of the FCT Administration.

"The creation of AGIS has gone a long way to strengthen our internal revenue generation strategies.

Such initiatives that would create alternative sources of funding aside from statutory allocations are recommended for efficient financial management of cities."

el Rufai stated this at the weekend while speaking on "An Agenda for Sustainable Management of Cities in Nigeria" at the convocation lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.

He lamented that the cost of running the Territory was very high and tasking, maintaining that the FCT Administration was continuously seeking means and ways of sourcing for other means of internally generated revenue.

For instance, we need about N150 million to service the traffic lights within the Federal Capital City even as about N50 million was spent in clearing the streets and collecting garbage until we privatised it.

After the privatisation (refuse collection), we have come to realise that it means it is cheaper to still provide this service without using government machineries. Now we spend about N25 million for garbage collection."

He maintained that, "a strong financial base for city management is achieved with efficient revenue generation and tax collection mechanisms that are effective, acceptable and verifiable. In our own case, we have exhibited this approach with the quarterly publications in newspapers of the monthly 10 % value of internally generated revenue (IGR) accruable to the Area Councils.

"This has enthroned transparency in the disbursement of public funds. It also explains to some extent why we believe that the bill seeking to set up the FCT board for internal revenue before the National Assembly and the proposed Property tax offer fresh vistas for enhanced internal revenue generation in FCT."

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