By Ovat Abeng
The Anambra State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake, has revealed that the state government has automated the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection processes in the state, saying that the move has improved the state’s annual collections.
Nnake made the revelation at a two-day Technical Session for the Development of Anambra State Open Government Partnership Second Action Plan (SAP 2) organised by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in Awka.
Nnake said that when the administration of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo came on board, IGR collections in the state were done by third parties who remitted whatever they liked to the state coffers.
The commissioner said that by that automation, the government has effectively plugged all the revenue leakage windows opened by the third parties; and that the improved revenue would be useful in the government’s development moves in the state.
“What it means is that the government does a straight on collection from its citizens instead of paying into the hands of individuals who then decide what to remit”, she said.
The commissioner said that the idea of the OGP was to ensure transparency in governance and that SAP was a platform where the government and non-state actors cooperate on actions or initiatives that they could both partner and see to implementation.
OGP’s Focal Person in the state, Ogochukwu Orji, said that the partnership was a multilateral initiative that focused on transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in governance.
“Currently, what we are doing today is that we are having a technical session; stakeholder engagement for the development of the second state action plan. We had an action plan that ran from 2018 to 2020/2021.
“So now, we are trying to develop a new one. There is a new government with new priorities. So, what the state government did was to call the non-state actors again, that these are the solution agenda; how do we partner with non-state actors to achieve that?
“So now, we are trying to bring out commitments, thematic areas to achieve the goal of this current government”, she said.
The Focal Person said that the first action plan performed fairly well despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic at the time.
“I will say that the first action plan performed moderately because at some point COVID-19 affected it, but it performed well. But we are moving a couple of things from that action plan to the second one.
“We don’t just want to say okay we are done with SAP 1, we want to develop the second one. What we are doing now is that we are moving some commitments from the old action plan into the new action plan because government is a continuum.
“We’re not trying to discard the old one; we’ll continue implementing it”, she noted.