Crisis looms in Kano as Ganduje retains revenue boss, defies legislators
Crisis is imminent in Kano State between the executive and legislature, as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has defied the resolution of the House of Assembly, which called for the sack of Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS) Chairman, Abdurrasaq Salihi.
In a unanimous resolution passed by the lawmakers last Tuesday, the governor was issued a 48-hour ultimatum to disengage Salihi due to what they considered as poor performance.
Beside the ultimatum, the Speaker, Hamisu Chideri, hinted at the inauguration of eight members as ad hoc committee headed by the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Magaji Zarewa, to investigate activities and challenges of the service and proffer solution.
“Kano is well-known for high performance in Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR), next to Lagos State. It is worrisome that Kano is now number nine in collection and 17 in performance. This is not acceptable.
“The house has also received several petitions and complaints on the performance of the chairman. Based on this, the assembly resolved to recommend the sack of the chairman within 48 hours,” the Speaker said.
Prior to the resolution, the revenue boss had honoured the legislators’ invitation to appear at plenary and was accused of insubordination after he was said to have unilaterally increased the grand rent rate without a legislative verdict.
However, the investigation revealed that Salihi resumed duty 48 hours after the assembly passed the resolution.
Although Ganduje was out of the country when the resolution was issued, there was no indication that the resolution gained meaningful attention at the State Executive Council (SEC).
According to the Majority Leader, Labaran Madari (Warawa constituency), the resolution is still subsisting despite the seeming flagrant disregard from the executive, adding that the governor’s absence may be responsible for the delay in the execution.
The drama began when the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA) and f the civil society raised concern over declining IGR in Kano.
The stakeholders believe that the volume of commercial activities in the state and the economic viability of Kano are not commensurate with the revenue generated in 2020.
A member of Chartered Taxation of Nigeria, Mr. Ado Mohammad, who insisted that KIRS had no mechanism to validate the sharp decline in IGR, declared that the revenue board was in a better position to generate more than it declared, considering the economic advantage of Kano.
“For Kano to have generated N30 billion IGR in 2020 less than Kaduna with N50 billion is a sign of danger ahead. ASVI report is out to examine the viability of a state to manage her financial liability without monthly FAAC revenue. Now, placing Kano below Kaduna, Oyo and Ogun states, who collected less FAAC is embarrassing. By implication, Kano is sliding towards the inability to pay salaries without FAAC.
“This is unacceptable because Kano has all the market values and advantage to generate more, talk of population, markets and industries. What is happening is leakage, under-reporting and possible diversion, which the government must handle seriously,” he said.
Chairman, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Kano, Ibrahim Waiya, expressed disappointment on the state of Kano IGR, alleged corruption and misappropriation of resources at the revenue.
He disclosed the coalition was planning to launch an advocacy and awareness campaign against IGR in Kano.