As Nigerians await a new minimum wage, Kwara State Governor, Abdufatah Ahmed has implored state governors to increase revenue generation in their respective states to meet up with the new minimum wage.
The governor made this call in Abuja during his presentation at the 4th National Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) peer-learning event organised by the Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF).
He said: “It is clear that the new minimum wage is coming with an added responsibility and the current revenue profile is not likely to carry it on as such. So I think as much as we are looking at the minimum wage issue, which of course we feel is imperative at this time, it should also be looked at alongside the capacities to generate revenue and that is why this platform that has been created by the NGF serves a good one for us to see on a peer review platform how best practices can be benchmarked across all states and increase our capacity to generate revenue.”
According to Ahmed, a government’s capacity to enhance general well being and provide other indices of good governance is directly related to its ability to muster adequate resources to meet its obligations.
He added that no nation could prosper without a robust taxation system to provide enough revenue to fund recurrent expenditure, people-oriented programs, and critical public infrastructure.
Also speaking, the governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, noted that no development could be achieved in a state if it fails to improve IGR, adding that the key driver of economic growth and development is infrastructure.
“When you build roads, schools, hospitals, things that aid and enable businesses, you begin to see economic growth and as people do well, income goes up and businesses grow, then you have a basis to levy taxes which you will now has to improve the state.
On how to generate revenue through agriculture, Obaseki said: “Agriculture is still a nascent industry. I mean it’s just growing and at the early stages government is putting in subsidies, so we have to wait a while for agriculture to begin to grow and do well to a viable business area before we begin to tap”