Obasanjo: Increase in IGR, Redution in Wastage, will Boost Economy
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday advised federal government to increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and reduce wastage in government, saying these are the immediate solution to present economic situation of the country.
Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta during a meeting with members of the Joint Tax Board led by Federal Internally Revenue Service Boss, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, said when times are hard, that is when government needs more Internally Generated Revenue, and it is also the time that those from whom the government would want to generate fund are hard to be able to get money.
He said "they must continue to try with increase as much as possible, what each state can generate in terms of Internally Generated Revenue, but states must also embark on a number of things.
"One, reducing waste. Two, they have to look into becoming slimmer, government can do a lot by looking at their own establishments. Where do they have to bring together institutions that don't need to continue to exist separately.
"And, generally, also show that the money they generate, the tax that the citizens pay are well utilised and they can show the people that, look you paid for this, and it has been well utilised'.
"I think these are some of the things we have to do to get us out of the tight situation that we are all in and we pray that the tax will role in sooner than later.", he added.
Fowler, however, said although main objective of FIRS is to raise money for government, noting that government also has to make sure they eradicate waste.
He said "tax tradition is like blood to the body, once we have funded that body with blood, the heart pumps it and the heart is the government."
He added, the government has to make sure it pumps it to all the sectors or areas of the body, meaning that those in charge of the government, once the revenue comes in, they should make sure the whole of Nigeria feels the impact of the expenditure.