…Says Tax Evasion, Relocation of Oil Companies and Fall in Oil Price affected State Revenue.
By Miracle Enuji
The Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Edevbie has released the official figures of revenue generated in the State including grants and supports received, and the current debt owed by the State Government for year 2017.
Edevbie who made a smart presentation of the figures on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing organized by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah for Commissioners in the State to reel out the various achievements of their Ministries for the year under review, lamented that, the ministry is faced with numerous challenges which has adversely affected its capacity on service delivery and revenue generation.
Flanked by the Information Commissioner, Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Staff of the Finance Ministry, Edevbie stated that the internally generated revenue (IGR) realised between January to December 2017 was N51,352,398,514.94 representing 73.18% performance when compared to the budgeted revenue for the period. “It represents an increase of 13% when compared to IGR of N45,586,142,651.63 received in the year 2016. This is a credible performance under the circumstances but can be improved upon”, the Finance Commissioner submitted.
For the Statutory Allocation, Value Added Tax, 13% Derivation Revenue and other Capital Receipts, the Commissioner disclosed that State during the period received a total of N179,481,702,851.92 as Gross Statutory Allocation, VAT and derivation revenue from the Federation Account compared with the proportionate estimate of N294,457,040,477 showing a performance of 60.95%.
Speaking on the controversial Paris Club Refund, Edevbie said that the State Government has so far received the total sum of N51,072,882,220.49 which came in 5 tranches since December 2016 till date. While for the Budget Support Facility from the Federal Government, the State Government has since its inception in 2016 received the total sum of N16,069,000,000 as at December 2017.
The Commissioner further revealed that the total sum of N40,683,297,546.46 was credited to the Delta State Joint Local Government Councils account from the Federation Account during November 2016 to December 2017 and has all been released to the Local Government Councils. Adding that the State Government released a total sum of N506,637,534.93 as bailout funds to the Local Governments to pay outstanding staff salaries and also, the sum of N10,666,548,019.57 received from the Federal Government as refund of over-deductions on foreign loan was released to the Local Government Councils between December 2016 to December 2017.
On Expenditures of the State Government, he stated that for the period under review, an aggregate expenditure of N2018,912,268,244.91 was made compared to a budget of N294,457,040,477. “Of this amount, the sum of N145,657,263,184.90 was spent on recurrent expenditure compared to the provision of N158,013,660,828 representing 92.18% performance, while out of the N136,443,379,649.00 budgeted for capital expenditure, only the sum of N63,255,005,060.01 was spent representing a budget performance of 46.35%. while the sum of N17,285,000,000.00 was released to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) as against the N28billion provided in the 2017 budget”.
Still besieging the financial base of the State is a domestic debt stock of N228,328,360,009.20 as at the end of December 2017. The breakdown as disclosed showed that contract arrears took the largest share of over N110 billion. The statistics as presented by the Finance Commissioner is as follows; 3rd Delta State Bond – N7,701,234,719.43, Contractors Arrears – N110,740,916,972.66, Commercial Bank Loan – N3,791,682,429.91, Pension and Gratuity Arrears N18,593,501,654.17, Commercial Bank Loan Restructured into FGN Bond – N67,977,682,285.79, Salary Bailout CBN – N10,428,704,931.35, Bailout E.C.A N8,584,864,924.28 and Judgement Debts – N509,772,091.61.
While lamenting on the challenges posed by Tax evasion and avoidance by companies and individuals, collapse of the capital market, relocation of oil companies from the state due to various crisis and the decline in revenue from the federation account due to the fall in oil price which however improved over the last quarter of 2017, Edevbie informed that a number of remedial measures are being put in place by the Ministry to improve the revenue and financial base of the State.
“Based on the various measures that have been put in place in the Ministry since the inception of this administration, we are quite optimistic that the financial base of the State would continue to be strengthened through prudent management of resources and investment in viable projects while looking for new areas of economic growth.
“To ensure quality, efficiency and responsiveness of its delivery, the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR) tax administration machinery is being overhauled through systematic repositioning of the structure of the organization and staff mobility. Since assuming office, the DBIR has raised its monthly IGR collection from N3.2 billion to an average of N4 billion. However it is deploying new strategies and initiatives towards a monthly revenue target of about N7 billion.
“The Board is also collaborating with the judiciary and security agencies with a view to stepping-up tax compliance and enforcement. It has also stepped-up taxpayer education through the media. To expand the database of taxpayers, the Board is also focusing on capturing more than 70% of taxable persons in the informal sector in the State in the tax net. It has also increase its tax database from 1800 to over 5800.” The Finance Commissioner informed.