The Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday, revealed that the state has systematically improved its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N700 million monthly in 2017, when he assumed office, to an average of N3.3 billion monthly in 2023.
Akeredolu, stated this at the official closing ceremony of a 3-week International training by the London Academy Business School for staff of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), with the theme: “Understanding the Principle of International Taxation”.
Akeredolu, who was represented by the State Head of Service, Mr. Kayode Olaniyi Ogundele, said the collaboration with London Academy Business School (LABS) was aimed at boosting the capacity of its workers.
“Since the beginning of my Administration, I have placed a special emphasis of public service advancement and improvement in the quality of staff and their training and promotions.
“My agenda for the government of Ondo State is encapsulated in the 8-point development acronym: REEDEMED to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all sectors where one of the cardinal points is Educational Advancement and Human Capital Development.
“This must be carefully mastered by all and our procedures tailored towards its achievement. The public service in any economy and clime remains the engine room of government and should attract the best and brightest that will fuel policies with fresh ideas.
“The role and importance of public servant cannot be over-emphasised. A strong public service is the bedrock on which good governance, policy execution and pathways for the delivery of democratic dividends can be achieved.”
He added: “It is in pursuant of the above that the Government of Ondo State decided to bring down the team of facilitators from London Academy Business School down to Akure to train staff of ODIRS and get the same certification and value we would have gotten from the school if they had all traveled abroad to London.
“We are saying you don’t need to ‘Japa’ to further your training; we have brought ‘Japa’ to Akure”, Akeredolu stressed.
According to the governor, the history of training ODIRS staff started in 2019, when 450 of them were recruited.
“It gladdens my heart that we have improved our IGR systematically from the N700 million per month in 2017, when we came on board to an average of N3.3billion per month in 2023.
“I wish to state here, based on the information I received and approval given so far, that over 450 staff of this agency have participated in not less than at least four standard training with one specialised training in their various area of their expert since my flag-off in 2021.”
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of ODIRS, Mr. Tolu Adegbie, said the essence of the training was to improve the capacity of workers in line with the agenda of the governor which he said had educational advancement as one of its core points.
“We know that training them will impact on our revenue growth, so for this year, we decided that we should do something extraordinary.
“We were asked to go to London two years ago, with all the chairmen of International Revenue Service all over the country and the Chairman of the FIRS and we attended this same course.
“When we came back, we decided to approach Mr. Governor that instead of Chairman and Director going for this training in London, why can’t we train the rest of our staff and he bought the idea and said, well, if the trainers can come to Nigeria, why not? So, he approved and they came to Nigeria and they’ve been with us for the past three weeks. They’ve trained over 300 staff in understanding the principles of International Taxation,” he added.