Borno Revenue Board Declares Over N1.2bn In 2 Weeks  

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*Over N3bn in 6 months of 2023 

*Affirms zero tolerance for corruption, introduced digitalized taxpayers payment process

By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri

Borno State Internal Revenue Board for the first time in the history of internally generated revenue in the state, has generated over N1.7 billion in January 2024  and N1.1 billion within two weeks from February 1 to 15, 2024.

The  revenue board  also generated N19.4 billion from ministries, departments and agencies as well as the 27  local government councils of the state  in 2023.

The Chairman of the Borno State Revenue Board, Professor Bello Alhaji Ibrahim who  disclosed this on Friday at his maiden press conference with journalists at the conference hall of the board, said  such successes were achieved as a result of the newly introduced reform  system and strategies he brought into the service for zero tolerance, transparency and accountability  in the entire process in the overall interest of the state government and not  to witch hunt anybody neither  being malicious.

According to him, the board has also digitalized and mapped out all its revenue  generating centers and screened all the locally generated revenues collectors and ad hoc staff by way of cross examining the total number  engaged to mobilize, monitor and collect revenues physically by the past management of the board, dropping about 25% of the casual staff to sensitize the staff  and sanitize the system.

Professor Ibrahim added that, for the first time since his assumption of office in July 2023, with the zeal and  renewed hope,  commitment, determination and transparency established during his tenure of six months, the revenue base of the state locally generated has continuously been increasing and improving systemically even during the ember month of December when revenue generation was always dropping and low in the past due to high rate and number of defaulters, this time around , the monthly revenue generation was increasingly going high rather.last year ending and this year.

According to him, with the  new reform  strategies and mobilization as well as advocacy and public enlightenment programmes in radio and television stations , tax prayers confidence and trust has  increased alongside regular payment of their  taxes in all the three categories of tax payments  comprising of personal tax, business premises  tax and trade tax which are all being paid installment at ease and grace or relief of three times per annum with 50% first or initial tax payment and subsequently, 25% payment twice before the year runs out and to begin a new payment procedures 

He explained further that the successes recorded so far were imaginary and borne out of the new systematic procedures and processes of doing things, digitalized process of using POS or banks or mobile banking to effect payments of all the three categories of  taxes  easily and simple without any stress and doubt of payment as alerts are being received instantly in every payment  made at the designated centers and banks as well as sources which have been computerized even at the local government areas of the state.

He enjoined the entire citizens of Borno to have confidence and trust on the administration of Governor Zulum on  local revenue generation, projects and programmes execution and implementation as well as transparency drive of public funds accountability in comparison with the annual budgetary provisions and allocations to sectoral and departmental activities in the general interest  of the people.

The chairman who is also a Professor of Economics and seasoned Senior Lecturer with University of Maiduguri, said,  “taxation is key to governance as there is no any government at any level that can survive any where in the world without taxes*.

Prof. Bello noted that,  governments all over the  world depend  strongly on taxes to  survive and need taxes and levies  to provide the needed basic needs , services, facilities and amenities to the people.

He therefore, urged the people of Borno to continue to pay their taxes and levies including royalties to enable government serve them better at both  the local government areas and state level .

The chairman pointed  out that, federal government allocations from the fiscal revenue mobilization  commission and petroleum  resources or crude oil derivation alone can not satisfactorily sustain or accommodate the state or federal government.  

Professor Bello reiterated   the need and important of locally generated  revenue mobilization, enlightenment, collection and remittance  for effective  governance and service to the people which informed the zero tolerance of the board management on revenue  mobilization, collection,  generation  and remittance unlike in the past when ad hoc staff were misused and  tax payments remittance  was tempered or total amount generated was polluted with misappropriation if not mismanagement by some personnel of the board.

He said the board is proud to say it has blocked all the leakages and closed all the gaps and bridged all the loopholes without malice and sentiments in all its transactions and created room for zero tolerance against any chance of  misconduct and misappropriation as everything now is direct and straight forward from tax prayers to the bank and the process is on daily watch by all the directors  and other staff of the board through mobile phones and computer systems transparently at every point of transaction.

The chairman also appreciated the support and cooperation of his staff and the media as well as the governor  in sanitizing  the board operational system and reforming the entire  taxation system at  both the local and state levels in order to serve the state better and improve on facilities, services and amenities for the people at both the rural and urban areas of the state.

He  promised to improve on the present state of locally generated revenues beyond the estimated budgetary provision as within the few months if this year, over N3 billion has so far been generated.

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