23 March 2016

Nigeria: States Urged to Reduce Political Appointees

The National Economic Council (NEC) has urged state governments to reduce the number of commissioners, permanent secretaries and other political appointees.

This was part of the resolutions reached on revenue generation and fiscal stability at the end of the two-day NEC retreat.

The retreat also resolved that there was need for deliberate effort to generate relevant data on the respective economies of the states and the nation generally in order to drive revenue generation

It also resolved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service and "SIRS" should invest in relevant technology to support efforts to improve tax collection.

"There is a need to develop incentive schemes for federal and state revenue generating agencies

FIRS and SIRS need to actively collaborate on initiatives to improve tax collection, including joint audits of major corporate tax payers", the communiqué issue at the end of the retreat read.

All state governments were encouraged to establish efficiency units to review/enhance the quality of expenditure as well as plug revenue leakages and focus on property and consumption taxes will help in improving revenues in a fair manner

It was also agreed that tax-payer education be intensified to expand the tax base and avoid political back-lash from intensifying tax collection.

The retreat also resolved that cost control measures be identified and implemented on an ongoing basis; in this regard various examples from Nigeria and other countries are recommended.

On investment, industrialisation and enabling monetary policies, it was resolved that the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment develop a matrix of actions to be taken by federal and state governments towards achieving the targeted improvements in ease of doing business ranking by 30th April 2016.

The retreat also resolved to "Present an incentive scheme for States taking actions towards improvement of the investment climate in their States including grants by 30th September 2016; forge strong links between the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the State Investment Promotion Agencies".

States were also asked to collaborate more actively on regional basis on investments and industrialization; while the Federal Government should work with the States and other stakeholders to create an enabling environment for trade and investment through the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) to encourage industrialization.

According to the communique, state and federal governments must emphasize the patronage of "Made in Nigeria" products. "Import competition" rather than "import substitution" should be emphasized.


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