The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam has urged States and Local Governments to begin to explore alternative sources of revenue with a view to boosting their revenue base and reducing over-dependence on oil revenue.
Elias Mbam who made this call on Wednesday April 9, 2014 when he received a high-powered delegation from the Kaduna State Government led by the Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero observed that for the state and local governments to move forward, they have to harness their abundant natural resources and endowments. Adding, they should pay more attention to the development of natural resources like agriculture, solid minerals and tourism in their domain.
He indicated that the Commission will do everything within its powers to help all the States in the federation to explore all avenues that will make them increase their revenue base and reduce over-dependence on oil revenue. The Chairman also said that with natural resources like mining, agriculture and tourism properly developed, there would be opportunity for the establishment of Manufacturing Companies which would help to tackle unemployment and afford the Federal Government the prospect of engaging in the provision of social amenities and other necessities for healthy citizenry.
In his presentation earlier, the Governor of Kaduna State represented by the State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Madami Garba Madami explained that the State with a population of 6,066,562 people according to the 2006 Census and an annual growth rate of 3.2% is the third most populous State in the country after Kano and Lagos States. He also mentioned the entourage of the governor to include- the Commissioner of Finance, Ali Sale Abdu; the Commissioner of Environment, Nasiru Abasco and the Director of Budget in the State Ministry of Economic Planning, Maga Samson.
According to Ramalan Yero, Kaduna State is famous for industrial establishments such as textiles, automobiles, brewery, petroleum refinery, fertilizer blending and furniture. Adding, it is also blessed with human and natural resources just as it hosts many State and Federal higher educational institutions, Research Institutes and out-stations which provide capacity building for farmers, generate relevant agricultural innovations and technologies as well as transfer such to end-users. While highlighting the State's agricultural potential, he observed that Kaduna State is endowed with a total cultivable land area of about 2.5 million hectares out of which, 1.8 million hectare is upland where rain-fed crops are produced and 0.7 million hectares consist of flooded plains (Fadama) where dry season crops are grown under irrigation processes with abundant opportunities for livestock, fisheries and crop production all year round.
The Governor of Kaduna State presented nineteen projects with a cost estimate of about Seventy Three Billion, Nine Hundred Million Naira (N73.9 Billion) which comprise - the rehabilitation and establishment of oil palm plantations and nursery farms, construction of irrigation schemes, poultry production, resuscitation of cattle ranches and resuscitation of small ruminant production, amongst others.