Revenue generation requires investment and I commend the government of Ekiti for making the investment in setting up a commission to think about increasing IGR in Ekiti.
Sometimes the more you invest the more revenue you generate. But there are several ways of generating revenue for the government of Ekiti that will need less investment than is customary, the custom of setting up commissions or committees.
- MORE CAR PARKS.
There are three roads going to ABUAD (from Ijigbo/Mugbagba and St Matthew’s areas) converging at Odo Ado. Despite these roads traffic in this area is tedious and chaotic and crowded even though one of them is “dual carriage”. The reason is that motorists park FREELY and haphazardly on the roads sometimes “double parking “
Solution? Convert all these roads to “one direction” traffic. Convert one way of the dual carriage to parking space for motorists to park and pay fares. NGN200 will bring in handsome IGR, although we do not know how many cars ply Ekiti roads ( we never have data on anything in Ekiti), and cannot know exactly how much revenue this will generate. A handsome revenue nonetheless and with precious little investment.
By default people park on the roads anyway. Just legalise it and ask people to pay for it.
Converting existing road to car parks needs little investment but this is one stone that kills two birds. First it will drastically reduce traffic and secondly it will generate revenue.
- MONEY FROM RUBBISH.
2.1 Buy rubbish bins and give to every household in Ekiti to use. Even compel landlords to buy. Each household must pay NGN500 monthly to get the bins removed and rubbish disposed of. Again we do not know how many households there are in Ekiti and we cannot calculate how much revenue we can generate. It nevertheless keeps the environment clean and it generates revenue. If ever there is a way to kill two birds with one stone, this is it.
2.2 Similarly, the government can build toilets in strategic places and ask users to pay to use it. Two birds will be killed by this one stone. First the government will be providing a WASH intervention. WASH for water, sanitation and hygiene. Remember that Ekiti state occupies the shameful position of having the second highest open defecation in Nigeria. Secondly, we achieve an increased IGR.
- EFFICIENT USE OF CURRENT REVENUE.
The best way of generating revenue is to make sure that what revenue you have is never spent frivolously. The first economic lesson I received from my father was to spend money in the most efficient way possible. His test of my manner of spending efficiently was unusual. He would observe me use water efficiently. Yes. In those days, in my Ekiti town, water came sparingly like money and if you didn’t use water efficiently there was no way you would use money efficiently.
Margaret Thatcher had the same principle and used to compare public spending to simple home economics. Whatever political thing you do, both home Economics and public expenditure require utmost efficiency.
So how has the government of Ekiti state been using Security Vote? Let us accept, without conceding, the need for a non-transparent expenditure which is a peculiarly Nigerian thing.
But in a state that generates NGN350 million naira every month to be spent on “SECURITY”, (the most maligned security vote), how efficiently is it being spent?
Therefore, another way to increase internally generated revenue for Ekiti is to reduce Security Vote from 350 million naira to 50 million naira every single month of the year and efficiently use the 50 million naira on Security. This stone kills two birds. It it improves the image of the government through transparency and it generates handsome revenue of 3.6 billion naira to spend on public services every year. At least, this is one calculation we can do.
Dr Laofe Ogundipe, trained Medical Practitioner is an Associate Professor at Afe Babalola University.