World Bank, NGF, FIRS, Others Partner to Raise States’ IG
In their bid to help pull Nigeria out of economic lull, the World Bank, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF)and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are partnering to peer-learn and brainstorm on how to raise Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) of various states of the federation.
Other partners in the programme holding in Abuja, Nigeria, are the Joint Tax Board and the UKAid.
The programme is meant to share some success stories of some states and the FIRS so that other states could learn and apply in their revenue generation strategies.
This is the second time the NGF is anchoring this programme. First one was in 2015, a result of which, the NGF Director-General, Asishana Okauru, said 23 states recorded improvement in their IGRs in 2016.
“Last year alone, 23 states recorded growth in IGR, despite the recession. Overall growth in IGR was 20 percent—from N687 billion in 2015 to N821 billion in 2016—far up from a 3 percent contraction recorded previously”, Okauru said.
A document received from the NGF by this newspaper showed that despite the economic downturn, some states recorded improved performance in their IGR in 2016. Kwara State had 140 percent growth in 2016, Kano had 127 percent, Ogun 111 percent, Zamfara had 74 percent, Bauchi, Akwaibom and Kaduna had 61 percent, 57 percent and 48 percent respectively.
The reforms that triggered the growth, according to the NGF are: greater autonomy for State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs), improved taxpayer mapping (incorporating the informal sector), adoption of modern technologies for curbing fraud, strategic re-organisation and capacity building in SBIRs, community engagement, presumptive tax implementation and review of obsolete tax laws.
The paper also indicated that the trend has continued to 2017.
The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler called on the general public to give total support to tax authorities.
“I like to use this opportunity to call on the general public to give total support to tax authorities and all revenue agencies to enable us efficiently discharge our duties by collecting the needed revenue to fund Government’s projects and service delivery.
“As tax administrators, we have created a platform where other revenue agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Federal Road Safety Corps work hand in hand in order to optimise revenue collection.
Also, I call on the members of the JTB to intensify efforts towards meeting our revenue targets, I enjoin the various State Governments to enhance funding of the tax authorities so as to achieve the desired objectives”, said Fowler.