It was a combination of academics and tourism when the participants of Senior Course 36, Team 7 of the Armed Forces Command Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, stormed Oyo State some weeks ago.
The particapants who were majorly senior officers in the millitary, that is Army, Navy and Airforce were in Oyo State on a study tour. The tour which was part of their academic requirements for completion of the course, according to the leader of the delegation, Brigadier General Emmanuel Olubunmi Oyebade, was to prepare them for series of challenges in various offices which they would find themselves in the course of their duties.
The topic of the research work which brought them to Oyo State was “Internally generated revenue as a viable option for economic development”. The first port of call was the office of the governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi where he told the participants that lack of accurate data and enforcement of tax laws were some of the contributing factors to the dwindling internally generated revenue.
The governor told the team that the culture of impunity and law breaking attitude of the people constituted hindrance to IGR collection in the country. Governor Ajimobi, however, said accurate demographic data of the citizens detailing their income and earning potential would enable the government to work on its income with a view to increasing the internally generated revenue.
The team which comprised of 14 students, four officers and six administrative staff, during its stay in the state, was treated to a 30-minute documentary on Oyo State, at the Western Hall, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan.
They were also at the palace of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I at Monatan, Ibadan. The Olubadan, who spoke through High Chief Omowale Kuye, welcomed the team and gave them the go ahead to explore every opportunity that would be of advantage in the course of their study.
General Officer Commanding, 2nd Mechanised Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Aminu Tijani Jibrin, also received the team at the division where they were taken on a tour of the Division by the millitary assistant to the GOC. The team thereafter proceeded to the office of the state Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Indabawa.
The team did not leave the Oke-ogun axis of Oyo State out, as they were at Saki East Local Government, Saki West Local Government and Iseyin Local Government and were warmly received by the chairmen of the three local governments. They were also adequately informed about how the local governments went about collection of internally generated revenue.
Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade, was also on hand to receive the team in his palace.
The Oba and the team, however exchanged gifts and the team was led round the palace on a tour of the historical artefacts in the palace. Of special interest to the team was the close to 400-year-old tortoise in the palace.
After leaving the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, it was the turn of the local governments in the town and Ogbomoso North was the first port of call where the chairman, Temilola Adibi told the participants that:”I am delighted to inform you that by all standards, the local government is living up to the excpectations for which the third tier of government was created.
“My administration has been able to carry out some developmental programmes in the best interest of the community. I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government to provide succour for the teeming unemployed youths in this country to reduce the escalating vices in the society.”
The trip also took the participants to Ogbomoso South Local Government and Oriire Local Government, both in Ogbomoso. Before their departure from the state, they were at Ibadan South East Local Government as well as Ibadan North Local Government, where they were properly briefed on how the councils generated revenue.
A gala night was held in honour of the visitors by the state government at the Functions Hall of the Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan.
While appreciating the government and the people of Oyo State, the leader of the team, Brigadier General Emmanuel Olubunmi Oyebade, thanked the committee set up by the state government to host them for the warm reception received.
“I want to assure all the people of Oyo State that all the information gathered here will be processed accordingly and the outcome of the report will be announced at a later date.”
He therefore stated that government representative would be invited to Jaji to listen to the report for possible implemenation.