President Muhammadu Buhari has given the 36 state governments a mandate to increase revenues in their respective States. Buhari also urged the governors to raise the Value Added Tax (VAT) without necessarily disrupting economic activities.
Buhari, who spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when he inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) for its 2019-2023 session on Thursday, also encouraged the governors to focus on providing infrastructure with a keen attention on education, agriculture and health. The NEC chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of the President, Buhari also advised the governors to work with federal agencies to achieve their targets. He said, “Going forward, states must in the next four years find ways to increase internally generated revenues, improve Value Added Tax collection and increase agricultural output without disrupting business activities. “I also want you to work with the federal agencies and the service providers in ensuring that broadband infrastructure is made available all over the country. Information and Communications Technology is the future of work and we must not allow ourselves to be left behind. “Let me restate the high expectations on NEC as a veritable source of articulating policies and programmes that are expected to drive growth and development, secure our environment and take the country to the next level. Your Excellencies, the challenges that confront us in the next few years, especially in the areas of security, human capital development and employment for our youths are monumental and historic. But we are more than equal to the task.” On security, be noted, “While the Federal Government has primary responsibility for security and will not shy away from it, the states also have a critical role to play; in particular Your Excellencies, as state governors. You can definitely make a difference, not just by assisting the security agencies in your respective states, but also by keenly pursuing policies and programmes that forestall communal, tribal, religious and societal conflicts; policies and programmes that promote education, information, dispute resolution, vocational training and youth employment. “I have no doubt that if these four areas – security, education, health and agriculture – are actively implemented and closely monitored by NEC and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, we shall in the near future see a more peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.” He encouraged the governors to run an inclusive government which, according to him, would help achieve their goals.
Source: Ripples Nigeria