The outgoing Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has urged incoming administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa not to deviate from the diversification policy he initiated through the “Delta Beyond Oil Programmes”.
The state government has been committed to diversifying from an economy that relies solely on oil revenues, to agricultural and productivity.
Uduaghan spoke on Friday while commissioning the office of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue alongside 15 Zonal Offices across the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
The governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara, said that diversification is key to safeguarding the economy. He urged Okowa to take the “Delta Beyond Oil” initiative seriously for the incoming administration to make progress.
He said that in a bid to further boost the revenue profile of the state, the government has signed into law the Delta State Internal Revenue Consolidated Act and formulated a Delta Beyond Oil, (DBO), master plan to drive the vision.
According to him, so far, the policy has helped the state government to raise its revenue profile, adding that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state had this increased by 550 per cent in five years.
Uduaghan said: “We have been working towards diversifying Delta State beyond oil through our internally generated revenue in order to transform all parts of our state and it is with great pleasure to state that within a short time we have been able to build 15 revenue offices across the state, which include Ovwian, Asaba, Ozoro, Ashaka, Sapele, among others.”
The chairman of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Hon. Joel Thomas Onowakpo told newsmen shortly after the commissioning that his greatest challenge was “Physical Infrastructure” adding that the DBIR has grown the state’s profit by about 500% since his assumption of office in 2007.
He said he was able to fix the problem of “physical infrastructure” with the construction of its Head Office in Warri as well as 15 Zonal Offices in the three senatorial districts of Delta State.
He added that the board embarked on the training of its staff within and outside the shores of Nigeria and also built and furnished 15 zonal offices with state-of-the-art ICT facilities.