Anambra House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts has commenced verification of 2019 audited report of the state.Committee Chairman, Mr Somtochukwu Udeze said that the committee was a vital instrument to check the executive in terms of funds’ management.The Anambra State House of Assembly appropriates funds for the state and monitors how they are utilised.It is essential to have a watch dog that monitors financial transactions of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state,’’ Mr Udeze said.Mr Udeze, who represents Ogbaru II Constituency in state Assembly, commended the Agency for its efforts to increase revenue in the state.
He explained that the verification of the 2019 audited accounts of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), were to ensure transparency and accountability in public funds expenditures.
Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS), in their defence said it recorded N26.4 billion in 2019 in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), as against N19 billion realised in 2018.Chairman AIRS, Mr David Nzekwu attributed the increase in revenue to introduction of innovative ideas and continuous public sensitisation efforts of the government on payment of taxes.According to him, no fewer than 300,000 residents became registered taxpayers in 2019.In 2019, we adopted some innovations to increase IGR in the state.
We launched the state’s stamp duty office to generate funds. We started the state central billing system, where ministries can deliver bills to different offices and individuals.We have automated the billing system to bill people based on data collected because revenue is data-driven.’’He explained that the innovative efforts made them to realise N688m from direct tax and about N11b from payee sources. “We also registered about 32,140 businesses in the state’’.Nzekwu noted that many residents did not pay taxes and urged the Assembly to support the Agency in the area of sensitisation at their constituencies.In this era of COVID-19 pandemic, we need all the support to increase the number of taxpayers to enable the government to generate revenue for the provision of basic amenities in the state.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Creative economy also defended its financial transactions for 2019.A former Commissioner in that ministry, Mr Afam Mbanefo, now Commissioner for Transport, said the major achievement in the year under review was the ministry’s affiliation with youth groups in the state.
According to him, the Ministry trained no fewer than 2,000 youths in the state government’s skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes.Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Mr Peter Egenti defended their finances for 2019.He said that it expended most of its budgetary allocations on training of staff members for improved service delivery.