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Golf Will Increase Delta's IGR, Says BIR Boss

Published by Guardian on Sat, 14 Jul 2012

AS part of preparations for the much talked about 'Delta State beyond Oil Golf Awareness Tournament,' slated for July 20-21, at the Ibori Golf and Country Club in Asaba, the Executive Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, (BIR), Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, says Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan's vision to build a Delta State that is not dependent on oil revenue has started yielding dividends in the area of sports.He said that through the game of golf, which has become exclusive and significant for the elites in driving home the campaign for direct investment in the state, the BIR would increase the revenue base of the state and consolidate on the drive already embarked upon by the Governor.Speaking with GOWON AKPODONOR on why the Board decided to go into golf tournament instead of popular sports like football, Joel-Onowakpo, a keen sportsman, said there was the need for aggressive campaign towards improving the revenue base of the state through golf, which according to him, provides the opportunity for people to meet with captains of industries and business moguls to interact on how to be tax compliant. He also spoke on other issues, which the board wants to use to attract investors to the state to increase the revenue base.The idea behind this golf tourneyWhen the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan hatched the idea that the state should focus its move away from oil to non-oil revenue, the Board of Internal Revenue saw it as a step in the right direction. And we do not have any option than to do whatever that is humanly possible to see that this step already taken by the Governor are well articulated and complimented by the DBIR because that is going to be the life line of the Board in the near future.Beside the fact that Delta State is the number one sporting state in the country today, keying into sports as an avenue for the campaign for an improved revenue base of the state government makes it worthwhile, considering the followership sports has attracted in this part of the world. It is therefore, apt, timely and straight to the point as it will no doubt, achieve the result it has set out to achieve.Aims and objectives of the tourneyWith the available human and natural resources and as a state that has fared very well in every sphere of sports locally and internationally, one is left with no option than to use the game of golf to create tax awareness among golfers in the country.Hence we christened it 'Delta State beyond Oil Golf Awareness Tournament.' It will hold between July 20-21 2012, at the Ibori Golf and Country Club, Asaba. As you know sports is an integral part of this state. We have done well both locally and internationally and if we have showcased our God given talent to the whole world, it is therefore not out of place to use sports to create tax awareness amongst the stakeholders of the Nigerian economy, who have the economic power to either invest or influence investment into the state.Aside what the state government has done that is already yielding result, there are opportunities that have not been tapped by investors, which the Board intends to reveal. The major aim is to have one on one interaction with captains of industries who will attend the tournament.Golfers expected at the tourney'We are expecting over twenty-five professional golfers and amateurs from across the country. This is the mother of all golf competitions because of the caliber of golfers expected to grace the event. Also, the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, will tee-off the tournament on the July 21st by 7.00am and that will come after a cocktail party for participants who are expected to arrive Asaba on July 20th.Other Side Attractions expected'Some selected golfers will be giving talk shows, while the BIR team will use the opportunity to enlighten the visitors on investment potentials made possible by the Governor Uduaghan-led administration. Like I said, we tagged it 'Delta State beyond Oil Golf Awareness Tournament.' The whole idea is to create an integration point between what the government is doing and what the BIR Board is also doing.Rating Governor Uduaghan's administration generally'First and foremost in the area of sports, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan remains the number one Sports-loving Governor in the country and testimonies abound to the fact that Delta, being the number one sporting state, is the handiwork of his administration.He has promised to give the Delta State contingent preparing for the EKO 2012 National Sports Festival the desired support to retain its number one position. The Governor is also doing his best to create the enabling environment for investment and that simply means expanding the tax base of the state.And to expand the tax base simply means creating room to generate more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state, which is the most sustainable way advance countries have been run. What we are trying to do is to create awareness that Delta State is the next investment destination. We are calling on the world to come and see what Delta State is doing and come and invest.The Asaba International Airport as you are aware, is one of the seven airports approved by the Federal Government for cargo. Secondly, the building of that airport alone has resulted to an influx of investment into Asaba and Delta State.It is important to let people know that we want to use the tournament to let people know what is happening in the state and we are calling on them to come and see things for themselves.You know that it is in the game of golf you find captains of industries. This competition is not for only people in Asaba. There are various people coming from far and near. People are coming from Lagos, Ibadan, Edo State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. We are also looking forward to see golfers from others parts of the country. I want to see what we can do to attract more investors to the state.The major objective of the tournament is to bring captains of industries in a sport environment to discuss with them, showcase the investment opportunities and convince them on the need to take advantage of the convivial environment provided by Governor Uduaghan to invest in the state.S'West, S'East Clash In Football Final, As PASAN Games EndsThe 2nd edition of the Nigerian Parliamentary Staff Games PASAN 2012 will end today at M.K.O Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta with the closing ceremony billed to start at 2pm.Aside the march-pass of all the Parliamentary zones, the final of the football between the South-West zone, represented by the Ogun State House of Assembly soccer team and South-East zone represented by Abia State.To get to the final, South-West defeated National Assembly Service Commission NASC by 2-1 while South-East edged out South-South 3-2.Three Hundred Athletes competed in five different sports namely football, badminton, Scrabble, Table Tennis during the week long games.The game s will be rounded-off with investiture awards to prominent Nigerian's today at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta starting at 7pm.Among those to be honoured are the First lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Rtd General Abdusalam Abubakar, Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Aliyu Babangida of Niger State, Isa Yuguda, Theodore Orji (Abia) and Saidu Usman Dakingari.Others are Senator Ahmesd Bola Tinubu, Professor Wole Soyinka, Haruna Isfanus Gbana, Chief Emeka Nwogu, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, Dr. Hassan Sunmonu, Frank Kokori, Adams Oshiomole, Dr. Mike Adenuga and Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
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