Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, declared at the weekend that his government had, in its first two years, increased the state’s Internally Generated Revenue by close to N15 billion without increasing taxes.
The governor explained this on Saturday at the 41st Omo Aj’orosun Day Celebration in Ibadan. In a veiled response to his major opponent in the 2019 election, Mr. Bayo Adelabu, and other opposition elements in the state, the governor said he appreciated the essence of Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), given that Nigeria and other African countries were experiencing serious economic challenges.
He stated that the Approach had helped the state bridge its infrastructure deficit and expand its economy, even as it increased its local revenue against odds.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, in a statement made available to Prime Business Africa, indicated that the governor’s words came few hours after Adelabu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 election, alleged that Makinde had only increased Oyo State’s local revenue by a paltry N300 Million since he assumed office two years ago.
“Within the first two years, we increased the IGR by close to N15b,” Mr Adisa quoted Makinde as saying. “We did it without raising taxes. We did it just by appealing and bringing more people into the tax net.”
According to Adisa, the motorcycle operators were paying N200 (less than 50 cents) before his principal got into government but the new administration had to slash it to N100 (less than 25 cents).”
Adisa, in his statement, recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had in its 2020 report indicated that the state’s local revenue collectionn( IGR) had witnessed a 42 per cent growth, a growth which the governor explained, was achieved by bringing in more people into the tax net rather than raising taxes.
Governor Makinde warned against politicising the State’s security challenges and solicited solutions to the country’s many socio-economic challenges.
“On…insecurity they are politicising, there is available data. There is common sense too on some of these things. But all of us have to contribute in one way or the other. I want to beg you: Support us on the security architecture we have put out there.
“The arm-chair critics would just keep ranting and if you ask them to proffer a solution, they lack it. All of us must contribute, especially in the aspect of voluntary policing. The vigilantes, the Mogajis, our traditional institutions should come with us. I told someone that I cannot imagine Oyo State without Amotekun and it did not exist before we got into government.
“Before I got into government, security agencies could not effectively communicate security information between Ibadan and Ogbomoso. But we have strengthened the architecture we met when we came in. We have spent more than a quarter of N1b to put in place security communication equipment throughout Oyo State.
“Now, we are asking the banks that we want to integrate the CCTVs they have installed into our own security control centre. You installed this government and we are accountable to you. So, if you see something, say something to us,” Governor Makinde said.
He also stated that he took time to listen to an interview by Adelabu on Fresh FM, with the intention of picking valuable points, but expressed disappointment that the former CBN Deputy Governor’s criticisms were misguided.
He said that the politician’s takes on the APFA and the resolution of the agelong ownership crisis on the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso were flawed.
“This morning, I intentionally listened to the interview of my brother, Mr. Bayo Adelabu, on Fresh FM.
“So, I listened to Adelabu to know if there is anything I could pick from his argument. One of the things he criticised was our adoption of the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA) instead of Build, Operate and Transfer. I stand before you today to ask and challenge them to tell us the project they have done successfully under the Build, Operate and Transfer model in Oyo State, even at the federal level. So, for us, we thoroughly studied a lot of things before we concluded on APFA.
“There are two elements in APFA. One, there is a link between the existing infrastructural deficit and the internally generated revenue. When you tackle or reduce the infrastructure deficit, you are invariably increasing your IGR. And if we want to improve on our IGR to make more money for our government, we have to bridge the infrastructure deficit.
“What are the challenges usually associated with government projects that lead to abandoned projects? The past governments failed to see the end from the beginning of the projects. They started by paying 30 per cent to the contractor and those who wanted to get their 5 or 10 per cent got theirs.
“When the contractor got the work done to a certain point, there would not be money to continue to fund the project. As a result, the contractor would resort to reducing the quality of the project and destroying things more.
“So, we adopted APFA because it is solving many problems for us. “One, most of the contractors, by the time they complete any of our projects, the highest amount we must have paid them is 35-45 per cent.
“So, a contractor that is still having 55 per cent of his money with the government does a quality job so as to get his balance.
“It has been a model that is working for us as we are bridging the infrastructure gap in Oyo State and increasing our IGR.
“Secondly, Adelabu argued that the sole ownership of LAUTECH is wasteful. Some people, before we came into government, met with me and said it is only Oyo State that does not have a state-owned university. They went ahead to establish a Technical University here and we did not know if it truly belonged to Oyo State or a private person not until we got into government. But I can tell you that the amount of money that came out of the coffers of Oyo State to the Technical University, which has no record in the state’s budget, is over 15 Billion Naira.”
The governor added that his administration has been implementing the Oyo State Roadmap for Accelerated Development 2019-2023, which he described as a pact between his government and the people of the state, stating that by the end of the tenure, the government will be evaluated based on those things it promised.
He, however, counselled opposition politicians not to pull down his government or destroy the state because of their ambition, saying: “I want to say that God will have mercy on those eyeing this seat. If God wishes to put them on the seat, they don’t need to destroy the state.
“They don’t need to pull down the current government and destroy our state. They should focus on things they know they can do better and sell them to the people of Oyo State.”