By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
Kaduna State Government said it has set target of forty five billion naira (N45bn) as it’s annual Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
This was disclosed by Mallam Muktar Ahmed, Executive Chairman of the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS).
The KADIRS boss said, 20 billion naira is targeted to be generated from the MDAs while 25 billion naira is targeted to be generated from the state internal service.
Ahmed who stated this while briefing newsmen in Kaduna, added that “it is no longer news that the dip in the nation’s oil earnings has affected allocations from the federation account, this scenario has been on for months foisting a serious crunch on federal, state and local government allocations.
“Consequently it has become pertinent for states to take on the issue of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) seriously as it is the only way to cushion the effects of falling federal allocations and for states to be self-sustaining.”
He stressed that in view of the set target, and bearing in mind the promise of delivering dividends of democracy to the good people of Kaduna State, the Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El- Rufai, upon assumption of office hit the ground running by setting up a committee headed by Mrs Ifueko Omogui Okauru, a seasoned tax administrator and one time Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who was mandated with the task of reviewing the tax and revenue generating mechanism in the state in order to widen the tax net and also collect all potential revenues within the state.
“The committee submitted its report in August 2015 and based on the recommendations of the committee and in recognition of the need for legislative empowerment of the State board of Internal Revenue, an executive bill known as the Kaduna State tax (Codification and consolidation) law, 2016 was sponsored and passed by the Kaduna State House of Assembly and assented to by the governor.
“The Law establishes the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service and seeks to consolidate all taxes payable in the state in one law and in one document.”
The law, he said will “prohibit the collection of cash revenues and automate the operations, harmonise and centralise all revenue collections, simplify payment, introduce investor friendly tax code, promote transparency and accountability, eliminate multiplicity of taxes, encourage voluntary compliance, ensure improved and professional service delivery, provide taxpayers with information on precise taxes payable.
“We will enforced non cash collection in all revenue offices across the state, we will also enforced the adoption of genuine third party insurance across the state, entered into an arrangement with interswitch to facilitate the deployment of 100 PoS terminals in addition to the existing ones in preparation for expanding revenue collection across the state.
“We will set in motion the quick recovery of tax liabilities amounting to 12 billion naira by undertaking recovery drives to selected federal government institutions where we parleyed with the management of the institutions.”
He informed that as part of measures to ensure that all stakeholders concerned are carried along, “We have met with over sixty trade unions and associations with respect to reaching a mutual agreement on rates that will be charged their members under the presumptive tax regime. We have also held talks with IT companies in preparation for full automation of the service.
“Discussions are also ongoing with banks to set up kiosks in revenue collection centers across the state. We have directed the 23 local governments and MDA’s in the state to immediately implement the new law especially on non-cash revenue collection. Plans are ongoing to create codes for revenue lines under Local Government Councils.
“We have in collaboration with interswitch brought the Kaduna State Water Board billing system onto the pay direct system and are working to interface their billing system with the platform.
“We have also deployed PoS’ to all government hospitals across the state, this is in order to stop cash collections of bills and to ensure proper charging and payment of bills.
“We are also currently working with Messrs Compliance Professionals Plc to restructure both the staffing and operations of the service to attain the highest level of efficacy”
He reiterated that the mandate is to place the Internal Revenue service to a standard at par with global best practices in tax administration, adding that “with the support of the good people of Kaduna State we shall achieve these lofty goals and together make Kaduna State great again.”