Dr Nasiru Idris, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Kebbi State, has urged state governments to improve their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to complement dwindling federal oil revenue source.
Idris made this call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi by Mr Ahmed Idris, his media aide, on Sunday.
He observed that evolving new strategy in revenue generation would not only help the state governments but would also reduce over dependence on federal allocation.
Idris congratulated Nigerians in general and Kebbi people in particular for attaining 62 years of nationhood and prayed for many more years of celebration ahead.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s policy and programmes in diversifying the nation’s economy through agriculture, Idris also commended the present administration in the state for promoting democracy and uniting the people.
He said that APC had changed the fortunes of the country through different programmes aimed at empowering youths, women and vulnarable as well as fighting insecurity and corruption.
“The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State deserve commendation for doing a lot of good to the people.
“They both have done well in agriculture, infrastructure, health and education.
“We are celebrating Nigeria @ 62 with heavy and great achievements in the state and Nigeria at large,” he noted.
Idris also congratulated the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) for celebrating Nigeria @ 62, assuring that his administration will do more for teachers, if elected.
He however appealed to the Nigerians to be patient and intensify prayers for the country to overcome challenges bedevelling the nation.
NAN) The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure the full implementation of the Tourism Law as passed by the House since 2018. This followed debate on a motion during the plenary on Tuesday to commemorate the 2022 World Tourism Day. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on Sept. 27 to spread awareness about the importance of tourism and its impact on the society.
The House urged the governor to direct the state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, to create the Tourism Agency since it had already been established in the Tourism Law. The Chairman, House Committee on Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr Fatai Oluwa, who raised the motion, said if this agency was established, it would encourage provision, improvement and marketing of tourism facilities in the state locally and internationally.
Oluwa noted that the purpose of 2022 celebration, themed ‘Rethinking Tourism’, was to focus on reviewing and redeveloping tourism after Coronavirus Pandemic.
The lawmaker said Lagos State being the Centre of Excellence, hopes to ensure that tourism potential is explored in every area of the state.
“The House of Assembly passed the Lagos State Tourism Agency Law 2018 to develop and promote the state tourism investment.
“This aims to enhance revenue generation for the State.
Unfortunately, this Law is yet to be implemented,” he said.
In his contribution, the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Noheem Adams, said the main objective of the World Tourism Day was to celebrate and sensitise the world on the long term planning and development of tourism.
Globally, Adams said tourism had been found to be lucrative and impact positively on the lives of the residents and users of tourist destinations.
He urged the government to pay more attention to tourism development in the state.
Also speaking, Mr Adewale Temitope noted that Lagos State had a lot of tourist sites.
He said these sites were tools for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and most countries had used tourism as sources of financing government.
On his part, Mr Victor Akande said tourism helped to create jobs and boost income generation.
Akande noted that through tourism, foreign investors could be attracted, thus creating economic value for the state.
The House had adjourned sitting till next Tuesday after a voice vote by members present.
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has summoned two commissioners and state Accountant General to account for some state finances, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The invited commissioners are those for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Turaki; and Finance, Mr Daniel Agyeno, as well as the Accountant General, Mr Zakka Yakubu.
They are to appear before the legislature on Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 10 a.
m. at the assembly chamber.
This, the lawmakers said, was to enable the invitees explain how the State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, Ecological funds, State Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and Paris Club fund were recieved and disbursed between the state and local government councils in the state.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, invited the government officials after Alhaji Agah Muluku, the Chief Whip of the assembly, moved a motion to that effect under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, at plenary in Lafia on Monday.
Abdullahi said that inviting the government officials was not a witch hunt exercise but to enable them explain vividly how the funds are being used between the state and local governments.
The speaker said that their appearance was also to ensure that the right things are done in order to ensure speedy development at the grassroots.
“I want to appreciate Hon. Muluku and all of you for your positive contributions on this subject matter.
“I have said it severally, that we are all elected to represent our people well at this state assembly.
“The people we are representing will judge us, posterity will judge us and God will judge us based on our actions and inactions, these are judgements that await us.
“In the process of discharging our duties, we will receive condemnations and insults from people who do not understand legislative work and activities.
“We are doing our best to protect the system and let them say what they want to say.
“But how can we allow something that was for local governments to be diverted somewhere, we have to investigate that.
“It is in view of this that we invite the State Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs; the Commissioner for Finance; and Accountant General to appear before us on Sept. 27, by 10 a.
m at the chamber,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the assembly has passed a law on how state finances should be disbursed amongst the tiers of government in the state, especially the LG law and “we will not sit and watch the abuse of the laws passed by this Honourable House”.
The speaker assured the state government of continued partnership for the good of the state and people, stressing that the House in doing that will not support what will be detrimental to the development and the lives of the people of the state especially those at the grassroots.
In their contributions, Messers Mohammed Okpoku, Daniel Ogazi and David Maiyaki lamented on how lack of finances at the local government level has affected development at the grassroots.
They said that, if urgent steps are not taken, the aim of establishing local government would be defeated.
They also decried how chairmen of local government councils and Overseers of development areas cannot execute projects and perform their duties effectively due to lack of funds at their disposal.
Earlier, the Chief Whip of the House raised the issue for lack of physical development at the local government level under matters of public interest.
He said that there was the need for those involved in managing government funds to explain how State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, Ecological fund, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Paris Club were received and utilised by the tiers of government in the state.
“What I want to raise has to do with lack of development in the local government and development areas in the state.
“There is no development at the local government level.
FAAC is being received every month, there is State Financial, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Funds, “We have over N400 million Ecological fund, but as I am talking no kobo was given to the local government to address ecological problems in their areas.
“The state government by law is supposed to give local governments 10 per cent of its IGR but we learnt that they are not giving.
“How can local government develop without finances, if actually, we want development at the local government there is the need to invite those involved in managing government resources and activities to appear before us to explain why there is no development at the grassroots,” Muluku said.
The Kwara Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has strengthened its partnership with the state Internal Revenue Service (Kw-irs) and other allied revenue generating agencies to improve the state’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Malam AbdulLateef Alakawa, said this in Ilorin while receiving the service Chairman, Mrs Shade Omoniyi, during a courtesy visit on Thursday.
Alakawa assured the Kw-irs team of the ministry’s support in improving the state government’s internal revenue generation, adding that the ministry will assist to block all forms of loopholes identified in the revenue generating system of the state.
According to him, the visit has afforded the ministry to understand the areas to improve on and the areas to be addressed by the State Executive Council.
“Having understood the factors hindering the revenue drive of the sector, there is the need to profer a response strategy to address the challenges,” the commissioner said.
Earlier, Omoniyi informed the commissioner that the agency is saddled with the responsibility to generate funds for the strategic development of the state.
“Kw-irs is in business of generating funds for the development of Kwara State; the Ministries and MDAs are major stakeholders in what we are doing.
“The visit is also to know what the relationship is all about, the challenges and how we believe we can get it done in a proper manner to boost the economy of the state,” Omoniyi said.
The chairman appreciated the Alakawa for the warm reception accorded her team and assured him of stronger collaboration.
The Kogi House of Assembly on Wednesday summoned three mining firms operating in the state to explain their financial contributions to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) growth.
The firms, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Ltd., Manga Energy Ltd. and Dangote Mining Company, appeared before a committee of the state legislature.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the House had two weeks ago, set up a committee to investigate why the state’s IGR was dismal, notwithstanding the big companies operating in Kogi. The lawmakers had frowned at the activities of mineral producing companies in the state, and ordered that they “must be investigated to determine what is there for the state.
” At Wednesday’s public hearing, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Ltd., which provides a range of services to clients in the mining, solid mineral, energy and steel sectors, apologised for its shortcomings.
Malaki Ugwani, legal officer, Eta Zuma, which mines granite in Ankpa Local Government Area, said it was not in the character of the company to undermine the lawmakers’ integrity.
“To respond to some of your questions as regards to tax, I can boldly tell you here that Zuma as a mining company is not owing the state.
“Our approved fees were in good faith and we have no issue with the community with which we have a 5-year Community Development Agreement (CDA) running from 2018 to 2023. “It will interest you to know that since we began operating in Kogi, the licence we have is contiguous, yet in some places around Okobo, Ika and Ejambo, we are not allowed access due to activities of illegal miners.
“We are paying our revenues as at when due but there are issues as to the legality of dues for the the state and Federal Government,” he explained.
Also speaking, Dangote’s representative, Mr Haruna Adonoi, said he came to plead for more time to allow the company gather its documents and prepare properly before appearing before the committee.
Adonoi said, “We got a letter of oversight function from the committee, we then sent a response letter, which contains court cases between the state and our company.
” Manga Energy Ltd. also asked for more time to prepare properly before the committee at its next public hearing.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Matthew Kolawale, therefore, directed that all the firms invited should come before the House on Sept. 26 with all necessary documents for discussion.
The 36 states of the federation grew their combined Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by N360 billion in two years.
They grew the IGR from N1.31 trillion in 2019 to N1.67 trillion in 2021. Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti made the declaration in Abuja on Monday at the 8th IGR Peer Learning Event and launch of the NGF public finance database.
He said the share of IGR in total recurrent revenue of the states also rose from 31 per cent in 2019 to 35 per cent in 2021. Fayemi attributed the improvement to the conscious reforms in tax administration in the states.
“Consensus reforms were focused on ending multiple taxation; professionalising and modernising our revenue services; embracing a tax payer-centric culture that eases compliance and strengthens the existing social contract.
“What we need to do better is to foster an enabling tax environment and administration that allows us to optimise our revenue potential as sub-nationals.
“Our pursuit to do things differently has benefitted from the relentless efforts of our state officials, technical assistance programmes within our Secretariat and from partners’ support,’’ he said.
Fayemi added that collaborations and support had ensured that states stayed on the course of implementation, delivering far reaching reforms, which yielded the results.
He said, however, that state governments must occasionally respond to the fast-changing tax environment if they must stay ahead of evasion and avoidance tactics.
He added that attention must be paid to the emerging dynamics surrounding private income.
He listed the dynamics to include devaluation effect of rising inflation rate, structural transition in employment, business dealings and investments driven by the evolution of technology.
Fayemi advised his governor colleagues to examine ways of expanding their tax nets and improve the tax payer database.
He argued that this would require ending the proliferation of tax payers’ identification numbers and databases.
“It is pertinent that we harmonise; leveraging a unique identification number as it is the global best practice.
“For us to achieve this, information sharing between jurisdictions must be seamless, not only between the tiers of government, but also inter and intra-state,’’ he stressed.
The chairman called on the Joint Tax Board to find solution to the problem of inadequate information sharing between states to improve on transparency in tax revenues and also in the entire treasury.
He stated that the database, which was launched at the occasion, would allow users to easily filter and analyse states’ fiscal data and information.
“We understand the need to build greater accountability, especially showing citizens the linkage between their taxes and service delivery.
“We are working with our revenue services and with Ministries, Departments and Agencies to expand our tax-for-service initiatives in rewarding compliance, while ensuring that citizens knew where we expend their taxes annually,’’ he added Fayemi expressed the hope that the governors’ successors would continue the reforms.
The Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, assured that the Forum would continue to play an active role in mainstreaming tax programmes through advocacy.
He said the tax database portal would host comparable annual data on government spending, revenues, and financing in all states of the federation.
“This will feature hundreds of performance indicators that measure the quality of public spending and the intersection of public financial management and service delivery,’’ he said.
NEWS ANALYSIS: Boosting Internal Revenue Generation in FCT Mr Haruna Abdullahi, the Acting chairman FCT-IRS.
NEWS ANALYSIS: Boosting Internal Revenue Generation in FCT A News Analysis by Cecilia Ijuo, News Agency of Nigeria The desire of Mr Haruna Abdullahi, the Acting Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service(FCT-IRS), is to place FCT first on the national Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) chart.
Unarguably, taxation is one of the most practical and effective ways of generating revenue for national development.
Understanding the importance of taxation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on tax policy for the developing countries asked: “Why do we have taxes?
“Until someone comes up with a better idea, taxation is the only practical means of raising the revenue to finance government spending on the goods and services that most of us demand.
” This assertion gives a complete cogent reason why taxation is so fundamental to development.
No wonder the Nigerian government directs states to improve their tax net to strengthen the dwindling oil revenue.
There is no doubt that the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service(FCT-IRS) understands this reality following its recent drive to widen its tax net to make FCT first on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) chart.
The service, which commenced operation in 2018 following the enactment of the FCT-IRS Act 2015, has progressed from tax revenue generation of about N60 billion in 2018 to more than N100 billion in 2021. In 2021, the FCT came third on the national IGR chart after Lagos and Rivers and it is determined to exceed its 2022 target of N200 billion to about N500 billion.
The FCT-IRS Acting Chairman Haruna Abdullahi recently said that the service was on an aggressive drive to surpass its 2022 target to as much as N500 billion.
He said the service had embarked on various forms of reform ranging from leveraging technology, staff training, enlightenment campaigns and direct engagement in the form of town hall meetings, among others.
“We are hopeful to achieve far beyond our target of N200 billion to as much as N500 billion because as we speak, we have additional people who have come into the tax net significantly.
“Also, through the engagement we are having with the media and the public, we believe people will begin to see payment of taxes as a duty and when that is achieved, N500 billion will be insignificant.
“So, we are putting processes in place and we are simplifying them as well as building internal structure for sustainability.
“We are equally engaged in training and re-training of our members of staff and hopefully in the next one year, there will be no problem of human capacity gap,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the huge economic activities that take place in the FCT was an added advantage for the service to generate huge income.
Speaking on the use of technology as a formidable tool to achieve its mandate, Abdullahi, said the service had begun to record tremendous success through its adoption.
“As a service, we recognise the importance of IT solutions hence the automation of our taxpayer services, tax management and administrative processes.
“Our progress has been incremental in our quest to achieve a full-blown digital system.
“We have provided a self-service portal for taxpayers to generate Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN), validate and verify TIN via USSD, mobile applications, and the web in addition to filing tax returns.
“This has lessened the burden of going to tax offices and has reduced human error and processing timelines.
“The service has fully integrated and adopted the Joint Tax Board (JTB) TIN for all her taxpayers to ensure uniformity of standards.
“Furthermore, to simplify the revenue remittance process, the payment gateway enjoyed by taxpayers is the Remita platform which allows seamless inflow,’’ he said.
On efforts to ensure seamless engagement with taxpayers, Abdullahi said, “People can visit our website or social media platforms for information on tax returns and other tax matters.
“For instance, our USSD Code for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
is *7737*22# which can be verified using a registered phone number, NIN or BVN.
“Also our website is https:.
ng while the number to dial to lodge tax complaints is 0700 220 0002. “So, with these avenues among others, people do not need to come to our offices to get their queries responded to.
“We are also opening up other platforms to engage with younger people”.
Speaking at a recent tax seminar tagged: “Reviving the Culture of Filing Tax returns’’, Abdullahi said the service was working toward reviving filing of tax returns in the FCT.
He said filing of tax returns was critical to providing finance for the government to deliver public services that were vital to sustainable development in the FCT.
On efforts being made by the service to check fraudulent practices with regards to revenue compliance, the acting chairman said the unethical conduct of some tax advisors who encourage tax agents to doctor records or refuse to make available documents needed to have a fair assessment of taxes was disturbing.
He said that the service also observed the worrying trend of engagement of unprofessional consultants by taxpayers to prepare and file returns with seemingly very wealthy individuals being encouraged to file as low as N1million to N2 million as annual incomes.
“The service would like to establish a strong enforcement regime to discourage the practice of tax evasion through such ridiculous tax returns filings.
“As the service strives to map out its enforcement strategies for tax evaders, we are not relenting in our efforts in creating an institutional framework for stability to improve collections at this stage of our journey and beyond,’’ he said.
While buttressing Abdullahi’s stance on tax compliance, Mrs Ngozika Jipreze, the Director Legal Services, FCT-IRS, in a paper presentation on tax enforcement, said non-compliance often undermined government’s ability to generate sufficient revenue for socio-economic development.
She said that the service was set up to ensure compliance, prosecute and recover all outstanding tax liabilities arising from self-assessment, tax audit, tax investigation and demand notices, among others, pursuant to Sections 8, 22,35, 36, 37 of the FCT-IRS Act, 2015. Speaking on the powers of the FCT-IRS, Jipreze said that Section 8(1)(C) of the FCT-IRS Act empowers the service to “assess account and enforce payment of taxes as may be due to the FCT.
” She said that enforcement could be carried out on all taxes and levies collectible by the FCT-IRS as provided for in the first schedule of the FCT-IRS Act. The director said that the service would not fail to work with the Nigeria Police Force, and other law enforcement agencies to ensure tax compliance.
She said that under Section 38 of the Act establishing FCT-IRS, “the service may co-opt the assistance and cooperation of the Department of State Services(DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC),among others, to ensure compliance.
” Corroborating FCT-IRS acting chairman’s remarks at the tax seminar held in Abuja, Mr Mark Dike, a retired Director in charge of Tax Policy and Legislation in the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) decried Nigeria’s poor tax to Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
Dike, who is also former President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, said that Nigeria’s tax-to GDP ratio had been in the range of 6 per cent in recent years.
“In comparison, the average for about 30 African countries range from 15.1 per cent in 2010 to 16.5 per cent in 2018. “World Bank recommends 15 per cent tax to GDP ratio as a key ingredient for economic growth and ultimately poverty reduction,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FCT-IRS was established with the enactment of the FCT-IRS Act of 2015. The service took over the administration of Personal Income Tax from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in January 2018. It is the only “State” Internal Revenue Service in Nigeria that is established by the National Assembly and it is empowered to administer tax and non-tax revenues accruable to the FCT.
The Service is also responsible for the coordination of collection of all other revenues accruable to the FCT among other things.
The News Agency of Nigeria , has appealed to the National Assembly, to review its Establishment Act, to ensure optimal performance and enhance its revenue generation.
Mr Buki Ponle, the Managing Director, NAN, said this at an interactive session on 2022-2025 MTEF-FSP, organised by the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja on Thursday.
Ponle said that the agency has made name as the largest news content provider in Nigeria,over the years especially in the media space.
He said that underfunding and non review of its act were factors inhibiting its optimal operations especially in the area of revenue generation and general performance.
“We are not initially made to generate revenue, but as time went by, this was added to us and so far, we have been performing optimally well.
“But two things have been inhibiting our performance, first is underfunding and the second is non review of the act, establishing the agency.
“Uptill now, we cannot operate optimally and this has affected our performance in terms of collecting revenue and until that review is done, we may still be where we are in terms of revenue, but we strive to generate more fund, ” he said.
Ponle said that NAN has so far generated about N100 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said that most of the agency’s subscribers had been defaulting in paying for services, because they perceived it as a social services provider.
“When we tried to review our tarriff upward, many still complained, which led to holding up of the tarriff increase,we are still operating on the old tarriff, but by next year we will start with the new tarriff with effect from Jan. 1, 2023,” he said.
Ponle said the review of the act would give the agency the monopoly to control inflow of foreign news as well as enhance its operations among others.
“With your support, we can do more,”Ponle said.
Responding, Sen.Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of the committee pledged the commitment of the Senate to ensure the review of the act.
Sen. Solomon Adeola, the Chairman of the Committee urged NAN management to redouble its effort in generating more funds.
Adeola said that the senate would work toward the review of the act to ensure the agency’s optimal performance in news dessimination and revenue generation.
Alhaji Aminu Jauro, the former Executive Secretary, Taraba Primary Health Care Development Agency (TSPHCDA) has taken over as caretaker chairman of Jalingo local government council.
Jauro, while speaking at the ceremony on Tuesday in Jalingo, promised to tackle the problem of waste management in the metropolis.
He also charged residents of the area to be more security conscious.
Jauro thanked Gov. Darius Ishaku for finding him worthy of the appointment, promising to justify the confidence reposed on him.
The new council boss promised to embark on entrepreneurship and youth empowerment programmes to reduce unemployment in the area.
Earlier, Alhaji Isa Mohammed, the council’s head of administration, urged Jauro to initiate measures to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the council to supplement federal allocation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ceremony was witnessed by political and traditional leaders in the area.
Prof. Jeleel Ojuade of the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has advocated the establishment of a university for Creative Arts and Entertainment in Nigeria.
Ojuade made the call while delivering a Keynote Address at the Kwara Books and Arts Festival held at Malete, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara, on Monday in Ilorin.
The don, who was represented by Mr Ibrahim Idris, the General Manager of Unilorin 89.3 FM, said young people can nurture careers in the Creative Arts and Entertainment industry, and will be groomed.
The event, themed: “Stories from Scratch: Testaments of the Origins”, brought young creative artists together under one umbrella to display and bring their arts to life in the heart of Kwara.
Ojuade observed that while there is an urgent need for the Nigerian government to deviate from the mono-economy, the Creative and Entertainment industry has boosted the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of some notable countries.
He explained that if the federal government can invest heavily in the Creative and Entertainment sector, the most populous black African nation stood a better chance to multiply her IGR as successfully demonstrated by countries like Brazil, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Kenya.
The don commended Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for being conscious of the potential of the Creative and Entertainment industry, saying that the work on the Kwara Visual Art Centre is praiseworthy.
According to him, the centre, if completed, will not only attract considerable IGR for the state, it will put the state on the world map of prominent states in the international fora.
He encouraged the promotion of talents through the provision of a conducive environment for them to thrive.
Ojuade, who is also the President of the Association of Dance Scholars and Practitioners in Nigeria, advised the Kwara Government to organise short-time lectures and seminars for the unskilled people in the state that could make them fulfill their goals in life.
He explained further that xenophilia implies diverse cultural groups in Nigeria to treasure and promote their cultures, which he said, could turn their culture into tourist destinations through cultural exhibitions.
He explained that out of the about 7.8 billion people all over the world, approximately 1.5 billion people move around the world every year for cultural exhibitions and tourism.
The dance scholar, however, appealed to governments at all levels to look inward and make various cultures in their local and state levels attractive to tourists to put their various constituencies on the global map.
He specifically appealed to the Kwara government to partner with communities that sheltered some tourist centres, including Ilorin Central Mosque and Dada Pottery.
Others are Mungo Park Monument, Esie Museum, Okuta Ilorin, Pategi Beach, Owu Waterfalls and the Unilorin Zoological Garden.
Ojuade opined that these communities can act as centres of attraction and improve the IGR of the state.