Bayelsa throws weight behind efforts to improve on nation’s non oil revenue .... Dep. Gov urges RMAFC to do a thorough job

Create: 11/15/2016 - 19:51

The Bayelsa State Government has described the ongoing nationwide monitoring exercise embarked upon by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to ascertain sources of revenues accruable from the non-oil sector to the Federation Account, as a step in the right direction.

The Bayelsa State Government has described the ongoing nationwide monitoring exercise embarked upon by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to ascertain sources of revenues accruable from the non-oil sector to the Federation Account, as a step in the right direction.

Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd) made commendation while speaking with newsmen shortly after a team empaneled by the Commission paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa.

Rear Admiral John Jonah, who implored the team to do a thorough job, expressed optimism that, the exercise, if properly conducted, would open new vista of opportunities to all the state governments to discover and harness alternative sources of revenue.

While expressing the belief that every state is endowed with mineral resources, he said, the current economic recession is worsened by the long period of over-dependence on revenues accruing from the oil sector and the lack of political will to explore and exploit other natural endowments, including agriculture to boost the nation’s economy.

The Deputy Governor, who assured the team of the state’s support, urged them to engage the appropriate government ministries, agencies and departments, as well as other stakeholders in the course of the exercise, with a view to identifying alternative potentialities of the state and possible means to harnessing such resources, in line with the present administration's policy of economic diversification.

His words: "Yes, it is true that Bayelsa State isn't doing well in the non-oil sector. So they (RMAFC) are going to carry out an audit of what we have because some of the non-oil mineral resources they have in mind may be here and we may not be aware.
At the federal level, the government is trying to get a consultant to work it out for the entire country.

"I'm firmly of the belief that there is no land in Nigeria that has no minerals. It depends on how you maximise the exploitation of it. So, at the end of this exercise, this the team will tell us what we have and how we can get it out from the soil. Just like the Federal Government, we also have interest in taxes. We have common interest, so we will certainly benefit from the exercise. But the extent of benefit is what I will not be able to define now.

Earlier in his remarks, the team Leader, Mr Sanyon Omiri, pointed out that, the non-oil sector accounts for over 50% of revenues accruing to the Federation Account, since the beginning of the current economic recession and is expected to contribute more with the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government's to diversify the economy.

Mr Omiri, who is also a commissioner at the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, disclosed that, Bayelsa's got a paltry 1.2million naira as its share of 13% derivation from the non oil sector, stressing that, the state currently occupies the 36th position on the table of non-oil remittance to the Federation Account, as at June this year.

He, however, noted that, the state could move up to an appreciable position and increase its share of the 13% derivation from non-oil revenue, if all leakages were blocked with illegal miners captured into the tax net.

To this end, Mr Omiri said, the team was in the state to verify and ascertain all the mining companies, number and duration of mining leases issued to each operator, as well as determine means of increasing revenue generation from mining and solid mineral exploration, among other terms of reference.