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Monday, May 29, 2023

National Park Service inaugurates committee to review charges

The Conservator-General, National Park Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, has stressed the need to review rates charged by the service in line with the current realities in the country.

National Parks Service
The Conservator-General (fourth from left, front row) with members of the committee and officials of the Park Service

Goni said this at the inauguration of a 10-men committee to review the National Park Service Tariff on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Abuja.

“Regrettably, many of the rates charged for services rendered to the public in our National Parks do not reflect the current realities as most of our tariffs have become obsolete.

“It is imperative, therefore, to update these tariffs and identify new revenue bases for the service to contribute meaningfully to government’s efforts, hence the need for the constitution of this committee,’’ he said.

According to the conservator-general, the committee is expected to take advantage of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to promote ease of doing business at the national parks.

“Take a cursory look at the following revenue sub-heads for possible review: Tenders fees, Earnings from guests house, Earnings from the use of Government vehicles, Earnings from Tourism/Culture/Arts/Centre/Park Entry fees, proceeds from Sales of Government Vehicles, Proceeds from Sales of Goods by Public Auctions.

“Rents on Government Properties, Earnings from Hire of Plants and Equipment and Earnings from the use of Government Hall amongst others.

“Your work should include a comprehensive appraisal of the various revenue generating activities, taking into consideration where we are coming from and where we want to be by developing a vision and setting attainable targets for all National Parks,’’ he said.

Goni said that with the dwindling fortunes from oil, government is now looking inwards for ways of cost reduction and how to revive the hitherto neglected sectors in a bid to diversify the economy.

According to him, the Federal Government also considered it necessary to introduce policies to block revenue leakages.

“These policies include the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Remita e-collection gateway and the introduction of Executive Order No.1 to ease doing business in Nigeria.

“All these are geared towards raising the revenue profile of the country and ensuring that revenues generated are properly harnessed and utilised for the development of our dear nation’’.

He said that the National Park Service has already started to introduce measures aimed at plugging leakages at its revenue points by adopting Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Goni said that the service was planning to deploy Point of Sale (PoS) machines to the various parks and revenue centres to ease revenue collection and accounting.

The C-G, however, gave the committee up to August 15 to submit its report.

Alhaji Yakubu Kolo, the Assistant Conservator-General, Ecotourism and Chairman of the committee, stressed the need for more funding for the operations of the Service.

He also called on the management of the park to introduce children’s playground at the park headquarters as a way of generating more revenue.

He, however, pledged full commitment of the committee members to accomplishing the task ahead of the committee.

“I want to assure you that all the members will work together to ensure that this tariff that is going to be reviewed will be to the benefit of the service and Nigeria at large.

“This is very key because we have to look inwards and ensure that all areas are covered and we will also look at the leakages and ways of blocking them,’’ Kolo said.

Mr Martins Omole, the Conservator of Park, Finance and Budget, had earlier urged the committee to ensure that the objective of the inauguration is fully achieved.

He said that the committee comprised technocrats and urged then to come up with a unified tariff to boost revenue generation of the parks.

By Ebere Agozie

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