#DiscoverEnuguGov: The Enugu Money Trail

by Adekunle Elemo

The Enugu state, alongside four other states, was presented with an award at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) by the Vice President of the federation this April. And while the award was merited, questions persist from observers who live within the state.

How did the Enugu state get into the top 5 ranked states in the country?

How did Enugu improve its revenue generated from 103.5 billion naira in 2018 to 109 billion naira in 2019?

Were the methods used sustainable? What would the future look like?

Using facts and figures reported in the Enugu State 2019 Official Budget, we delve into all that, and more.

According to Britannica, Taxation is the imposition of compulsory levies on individuals and entities (organizations) by governments.

They are levied worldwide across countries and are primarily used to raise funds for public services.

The days when the bulk of funds generated in Enugu state were from the mining of coal and production of palm oil are long gone, and in recent years, the state has had to diversify its resources to generate enough funds to run the state properly.

The bulk of money generated in the state is due to the efforts of the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIRS) which regulates and monitors the taxes imposed on inhabitants of the state, with tax assessment offices placed at strategic areas of the state like Emene, Edinburgh and even in Nsukka, all remitting funds to the head office at Okpara Avenue.

Other areas of revenue generation in the state include tolls from the airport, fines from the ministry of transport, Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA) dues, and the ticketing of buses and tricycles among others.

The rise in revenue from 2018 to 2019 elevated Enugu State to the ranks of the top five states in the country in terms of revenue generation.

After the 2018 budget was released, senior government officials stated that the budget had reduced internal and external borrowing in the state by up to 60 percent and that as long as it was prudently managed, there would be no need for the state to be dragged further into indebtedness.

HOW DOES ENUGU STATE GENERATE REVENUE YEARLY?

As earlier reported, the ESIRS is the department responsible for assessing and collecting internally generated revenue in the state from individuals and organizations. The funds collected are then added to the federal allocation when preparing a new budget to meet the needs of the state.

In 2017, the ESIRS launched a new initiative to better track and maximize the efficiency of how internally generated revenue in the state is raised, called Enugu Internally Generated Revenue Central System (ENICS).

This initiative has helped taxpayers in the state confirm payments from the comfort of their homes using the Enugu State Social Benefit Numbers (ESBN).

The only requirement to get an ESBN is to visit the link, https://irs.en.gov.ng/obtain-tin from anywhere in the world to enroll.

There are several taxes imposed on the citizens by the state which the ESIRS collects, such as:

1. Personal Income Tax: It is levied on the income of an individual employed by any organization and is deducted from their salary by the organization. Self-employed individuals have to file their tax returns annually and pay the dues themselves, however. Personal income tax can be broken down further into subdivisions:

i. Pay As You Earn Tax: Where all employers in the state are expected to deduct this tax from their employees’ monthly salaries and remit to the appropriate tax office by the tenth day of the following month.

ii. Direct Assessment Tax: This is levied on the self-employed class- the business people. In this category, the individual is expected to assess the tax owed and remit the payment at the appropriate location. They are expected to file their returns and be assessed by the tax authority yearly, to confirm they are remitting the right amount.

iii. Capital Gains Tax: It is charged at a 10% rate on gains from the disposal of capital assets. Gains from the disposal of shares and stocks are exempt from being taxed in this category, however.

iv. Stamp Duties: These are duties levied on documents, usually legal documents such as cheques, receipts, marriage licenses, bank transactions, online transactions such as ordering goods online, and land transaction documents.

v. Withholding Tax: This is an advance payment of income tax where the tax deducted at the source can be offset against any subsequent tax liability due concerning the income.

2. Consumption Tax: The Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law was enacted by the Enugu State House of Assembly to levy a tax on goods and services consumed in hotels and event centers in the state.

As long as an individual or organization pays for the use of a hotel/hotel property or event centre, or purchases food or drinks from a restaurant, the tax is levied on them. The rate of the tax is 5% of the total bill issued to the customer, excluding the service charge and VAT.

3. Pools betting and lotteries, Gaming, and Casino Taxes: This is regulated by the Enugu State Gaming Commission, which is mandated for the promotion, control, and taxation of gaming activities in the state, and adds to the IGR for the state.

4. Tolls: Funds are also generated by exacting a toll from people driving in and out of the airport, depending on the vehicle type. Usually #150 for Keke and #200 for private cars.

The toll collection is monitored by the FAAN and all funds are sent to the ESIRS and on to the budgetary and planning ministry afterward.

5. ESWAMA Fees: The Enugu State Waste Management Agency is in charge of the collection and disposal of waste, and customers are charged a fee monthly/annually. The fees are paid at the banks and a copy of the receipt is pasted at the gate of the residence so the trucks drivers can confirm payment before moving the refuse.

6. Road Taxes: These are the charges commercial vehicles pay to the local governments they operate in, to be able to ply the roads of the city and pick passengers.

Other types of taxes include the fire service charges, economic development levies, animal trade tax and many more.

There are a lot of organizations involved in monitoring the taxes paid by the people of the state, from the FAAN at the airport to the various local governments’ councils, but all under the ESIRS.

BREAKDOWN OF THE 2019 BUDGET FOR ENUGU STATE

The 2019 budget was officially presented to the press on the 28th of January, 2019 by the governor. Before presenting the budget for the year, the governor stated his intent to ensure that resources were distributed evenly in the state, as well as a desire to continue the building and rebuilding of social and physical infrastructure in the state.

He also highlighted the achievements of the administration up to that point and indicated the expectations of the administration for the coming year by highlighting the key deliverables and expected output for the 2019 budget.

KEY DELIVERABLES

Ø Better urban, inter-local government and community road infrastructure

Ø Enhanced security of life and property and improved access to justice

Ø Improved access to health facilities.

Ø Improved access to quality and affordable water and sanitation

Ø Increase in private sector investment

Ø Improved and upgraded school infrastructure to improve the learning environment as well as ensure quality teaching

Ø Affordable housing through public-private partnership

Ø More resources from internally generated revenue to fund development projects

Ø Strengthened systems and institutions for improved service delivery

Ø Job creation through increased inflow of local and international investments.

EXPECTED OUTPUT

  1. World-class infrastructure and transport network
  2. Better-educated, healthier and more productive citizens
  3. Clean and eco-friendly environment
  4. Robust and dynamic civil service
  5. Improved investor-friendly environment for sustainable private sector development
  6. Better-secured and more responsive citizens.

Furthermore, the budget was predicated on certain macro and microeconomic indices

Macro:

  • Benchmark crude oil price of $60 per barrel
  • Oil production rate of 2.3 million barrels per day
  • Exchange rate of N305 to the dollar
  • Inflation rate of 9.98%
  • GDP growth rate of 3.1%.

Micro:

  • Expectation of IGR collection of N27.7 billion
  • Pursuit of 60:40 Recurrent to Capital Expenditure ratio
  • 100% cash backing of all approvals
  • Due process and robust procurement processes.

To meet the above indices, the Enugu state government budgeted the sum of ₦109,199,243,000 which is a 5.44% increase from 2018 and led to the PEBEC award mentioned at the beginning.

Out of the total sum, 60.17% of the budget (₦65.7 million) was earmarked for recurrent expenditure, a figure higher than the previous year’s figure of ₦60.7 million by 8.22%.

Additionally, capital expenditure stood at ₦43.493 billion, a 1.5% increase of the 2018 figure which stood at ₦42.846 billion.

2019 RECURRENT EXPENDITURE

2019 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE BY SECTOR

2019 RECURRENT REVENUE

At the start of the year, the government expected and predicted a recurrent revenue of ₦93,699,243,000, as against 2018’s projection of ₦89,063,500,000 based on the following projections:

  • ₦63,965,243,000 as statutory allocation from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), representing 70% of the total recurrent revenue for 2019
  • ₦27,734,000,000 from the internally generated revenue, representing 30% of the recurrent revenue.

So far, the figures from the ESIRS haven’t dropped, so we are unable to compare the projections with the actual figures to see if they raised the amount expected or even surpassed it.

LOANS AND DEBT PROFILE

According to the budget, loans/borrowing receipts of ₦5,000,000,000 were expected from internal sources.

For external loans, the sum of ₦6,000,000,000 was expected from the following sources:

  1. World Bank loan for Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP)
  2. World Bank assistance for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP)
  3. World Bank loan for FADAMA III
  4. World Bank loan for Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Program (NEWMAP).

According to figures released this year covering 2018, Enugu was revealed to be owing the sum of $126.18 million to foreign lenders and ₦55 billion to domestic lenders.

AIDS AND GRANTS

The total amount gotten from grants for the state ahead of the 2019 budget totaled ₦4 billion.

TOURISM

Enugu state has several tourist attractions such as the Ngwo pine forest, Awhum waterfall & caves, and Nike Lake resort, which attract a large number of visitors each year.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done by the government to fully maximize the earning potential of these places.

There has been no effort by the government so far to convert the area around some of these places to resorts that would bring in more visitors and money.

Visitors are usually left to the discretion of private tour guides or villagers to explore these areas.

One major limitation is access to roads in some areas and a lack of co-ordinated organization.

Some platforms like iTourAfrica, Enugu Backpackers and The Hikers Trail are helping tourists explore the topography of the state.

From our analysis of the state budget, the Enugu state government has shown acumen in getting the IGR up last year, and it remains to be seen if the feat could be repeated this year.

However, there remain many pressing issues like the road network, limited access to potable water and the shut down airport clamoring for public attention and in great need of solutions that could lead to even more money being generated to increase the state coffers considerably.

In September, there was a hashtag on Twitter aimed at the bad state of the roads in the Enugu metropolis, started by angry city residents.

Government officials seemed to have noticed, for shortly after, as seen by images posted, work began in some of the more problematic areas (although Trans-Ekulu roads, among others, have yet to be fixed).

Additionally, the airport has been shut down for a while, and after another hashtag trended and it garnered attention, the minister of aviation reported that ₦10 billion is needed for the airport to operationalize.

The tourism industry is a good start towards improving the state, but there are so many more opportunities waiting to add to Enugu IGR.

From food tourism to sports, athletics, Agriculture, and technology, there exists a large network of skilled diverse workers from the numerous tertiary institutions who are a willing workforce waiting to be empowered.

Edited by Ese Okereka

Spreading true narratives of the beauty, values, people, places, events and culture within Enugu State #DiscoverEnugu