Plateau vows to sanction revenue collectors mounting roadblocksin the state

From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

The Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS)  haswarned that any revenue collector found to be mounting roadblocks in the Statewould be sanctioned and the culprits would face State imprisonment uponconviction under the new revenue law.

The Revenue agency also pointed out that the new law would notonly enhance the profile of the internally generated revenue, but would alsoensure transparency and accountability in all forms of revenue collection inthe State.

Chairman of PSIRS Dashe Dasogot gave the warning in Jos theState Capital, during the 2021 state public sector strategic engagement ontaxation organized by the agency in collaboration with a marketing consultingfirm, Unimark Limited.

His words, “Under the new law, it is now illegal for anybody,MDA or Local Government to mount a roadblock for the purpose of collecting anyrevenue due to it.

“Also, anybody who aids, abets, counsels or induces anotherperson to commit an offence under the tax law, is liable on conviction to afine equivalent to 400 percent of the sum in question.

“It is our desire that this drive for improved revenuegeneration will not be left to Government alone but that as stakeholders, theindividuals and organizations in the private sector must be seen to also takethe lead in ensuring its success.”

He however, charged Chairmen of the 17 local government councilsand MDAs to put more efforts into generating revenue internally to ensure thatgovernment’s plans and projects are executed to the benefit of the people.

Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor of the PlateauState University, Professor Yohanna Izam added that the time has come for thestate to diversify its economy for optimum performance and called on thecitizens to key into government revenue strategies to enable it succeed.

Meanwhile, an economist, Samuel Wakdok while delivering akeynote address at the event with theme: “Latent opportunities for MDAs andLocal Governments in Plateau State to Catalyze & Deliver Optimal RevenueYield” stated that if Plateau State is determined to raise it internallygenerated revenue to a level that can sustain development, it must ensure anefficient tax management system with an innovative and customer-centricapproach and guarantee that people, businesses and institutions, pay the righttaxes and charges at the right time using the right mechanism to yield positiveresults.

According to him, “BudgiT’s IGR at State Level for 2020 putsPlateau State at 16th/37 with N19.122B i.e. N1.6B monthly. To catch up with No.5, Kaduna State’s N50.768B we need an additional N31.664B or IGR of N4.23Bmonthly.

“To achieve our N5B monthly target and rake in N60Bannually, we will have to grow our annual IGR collections by an additionalN40.878B. Plateau State Internal Revenue Service have worked assiduously toproduce the new tax template.

“After seeing how every sector is covered, it makes the targetof N5Billion monthly internally generated revenue realistic.

“But as we always say in Nigeria, ‘we have good policies,the problem is implementation’. The successful implementation of the PlateauState Revenue (Consolidation) Law 2020 is why we are here today.

“Our over reliance on oil revenue or federal allocation inthe face of dwindling oil revenues is a likely source of tragedy in our owncase.

“While resource revenues are not taken from the people, taxesare or will be collected from the people.

“The more tax people pay or the more people who pay tax,the higher the standards, accountability and transparency they will demand fromthe government and her institutions”, he maintained.

“We must ensure an efficient tax management system with aninnovative and customer-centric approach.

“We must guarantee that our people, businesses andinstitutions, pay the right taxes and charges at the right time using the rightmechanism to yield positive results.

Adding that, “A result-oriented tax system brings about taxfor development which promotes the effective mobilization of public revenuemainly to foster development.”

He concluded that to achieve sustainable revenue in the State,there must be attitudinal change, collective responsibility to achieve the IGRneeded to make the state viable.

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