The outgoing administration of Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has ensured a stronger internally generated revenue structure in the state, as a result of the progressive and far reaching policies, initiated and implemented through the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, DBIR.
This much was disclosed by Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Olorogun Kenneth Okapara, when he performed the Commissioning ceremony of the imposing corporate Headquarters building of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, aptly called Revenue House, in Warri.
Okpara, who represented Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, to Commission the building, said that the administration had built 15 IGR offices across the three senatorial districts and instituted training and other capacity building programmes for the staff and management of the Board with the intention to enhance the drive for efficient and comprehensive revenue generation in the state.
He also affirmed that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state has risen astronomically by 550 per cent within the last six years as a result of the visionary measures and policies of the Uduaghan administration and commended the present board of DBIR, for the central role it has played in keying into the developmental vision of the Delta Beyond Oil Initiative, in the state.
According to Governor Uduaghan, “The board has been able to grow IGR over 550 per cent since 2007 and is well on track to generate enough IGR to form the entire recurrent expenditure that is the personnel and overhead cost of the state government. This is stemmed firmly on the confidence we place in the board and staff. As I commission, this new headquarters complex and other zonal office complexes of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue as well as others, let today be the beginning of a new chapter in this organization”.
Speaking further, the governor said, “We foresee in the immediate future, a situation where the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue will be at the forefront of the Delta Beyond Oil initiative, a position where the state will be fully viable and sustainable without depending on Oil and federally allocated revenue”.
He then said that the outgoing administration was handing over a very capable and well structured Internally generated revenue structure to the in-coming administration in the state and assured Deltans that the Board will be equal to the task of delivering on its mandate in the new administration a consolidation and improvement on its achievements so far.
In his own comments, the Executive Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, expressed profound gratitude to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for his complete support and unflinchingly goodwill to the Board all through his tenure as Chairman.
Onowakpo-Thomas said; “This revenue building (Head office) project being commissioned today is a project we had had in our hearts and I thank God because a dream that started in 2010 has been made possible in 2015”.
Addressing the Governor directly, the DBIR Chairman said; “You never wasted time in passing the Revenue Board bill into law and I want to say that this singular act you performed is the outcome of what you are seeing today. I am glad to be associated with you because you are a visionary leader. You have come and done your bit because government is a building block”.
Onowakpo-Thomas, then noted that before now, the state had depended solely on Oil for its revenue and neglected IGR, but with the progressive policies of Governor Uduaghan, who saw the future, the Delta Beyond Oiln initiative was started and this has placed the state ahead of other states, particularly with the dwindling price of oil in the international market.
He then assured Deltans that the Board will only collect legitimate taxes due to the government and nobody will be over taxed in the quest to shore up the revenue base of the state.
The Delta State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chairman, Chief Edwin Uzor, who also spoke at the epoch making ceremony, noted that the achievements of the DBIR over the years was a clear testimony of the democracy dividends which the PDP under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has brought to Delta State, adding that with the party still in control of the state, Deltans should expect more dividends and better quality service delivery from the Board under the Okowa administration in the next four years.
Earlier after the Commissioning, the Governor’s representative, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara had been taken on a tour of the Revenue House, DBIR corporate Headquarters which comprises of : Staff Training School, Two banking Halls, Conference Hall, Mechanic Workshop, Water treatment plant, Generator building, Canteen and Office Rooms, amongst others.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of awards to deserving staff of the various departments of the DBIR, cutting of the Commissioning Cake, presentations of gifts including a carved sculpture of himself to Governor Uduaghan, a special review of the Book, Delta Beyond Oil, Vols 1 and 2 by Dr. Bikare and goodwill messages from sections of the economic sector as well as the Delta State Community Newspapers Publishers group, who had been beneficiaries of the long running DBIR Tax enlightenment campaign advertorial.
The event was witnessed by a cross section of Traditional rulers, captains of Industry, Social groups and top Delta statesmen and opinion leaders, including Chief Solomon Ogba, amongst others.
Below are some photos of the historic event.