Bayelsa State Government has constituted a tax advisory committee to boost its internally generated revenue.
The committee, which is headed by the state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, will also explore other areas to make the state less dependent on monthly federal allocation.
The government at its fourth executive council session held at the executive chamber of the Government House in Yenagoa resolved to inject more funds into the housing and agricultural sectors to drive home its campaign promises.
The Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr. Ayibaina Duba, who disclosed this said council gave its mandate for work to commence in the six areas identified for housing development.
Flanked by the Commissioners for Agriculture, Transportation and Culture while addressing journalists, Duba said the issues concerning procurement and taxes were thoroughly looked into because of their relevance to the state’s economic blueprint.
He stated that this necessitated the constitution of the advisory committee as the state could no longer rely on the monthly allocation from the Federation Account.
“The state tax advisory committee, which was constituted with the deputy governor as chairman, has the Commissioners for Finance, Justice, Budget, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture, Transportation, the Accountant General of the state, chairman of internal revenue board and three others to be appointed as members and secretary,” he said.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief David Alagoa, also disclosed that the state would mark the World Food Day on October 16, noting that the state had a lot to showcase in the agriculture sector.
“When people think of Bayelsa, they do not think agriculture. But we have a lot to offer in agriculture. For instance, we have large expanse of land. We have the longest stretch of coastline in Nigeria and so on.
“In the last three weeks, I have had the opportunity to go round the state and identify a lot of projects. “The fish farm in Yenegwe, the fish farm at Angalabiri and the cassava starch factory at Ebedebiri.
“These are ultramodern projects. These are some of what we intend to do to showcase Bayelsa to the world,” he said.
The meeting, it was learned, ended with cabinet members observing a minute silence in honour of four illustrious sons of the state that passed on in the last week.
They include a former commissioner and president of the foremost Ijaw socio-cultural organisation, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko, a prominent compere/comedian and former local government chairman, Dr. Michael Ogbolosingha, a commissioner in the old Rivers State and ex-chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area, Engr. Rex Ogbuku as well as Chief Godwin Odumgba.