By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE Edo state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has hit an average record high of N2bn monthly from N1.55bn in 2016 when Governor Godwin Obaseki was sworn-in.
The state IGR has been on a gradual increase from a paltry average of N306 million monthly.
This recent increase from 2016 represents 25 percent growth.
Also, the number of verified and unverified persons in the state government tax net has been increased from 120,000 in 2016 to 250,000 in 2018.
Executive Chairman of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) Mr. Igbinudu Inneh made these disclosures in a chat with newsmen where he said 50 persons were currently undergoing training with a view to sending them out to confirm the status of the additional 140,000 people that were captured within the last two years.
Inneh debunked report of decreased IGR saying that Governor Obaseki identified six critical success factors for revenue generation at the inception of his administration.
He listed the factors to include technology, data, human capital development, stakeholders engagement, public enlightenment and man power development.
He said “We started out in trying to developing an Edo Revenue Administration System which relies in technology. Technology on its own will not do it for you, you need human intervention.
“We now want to make sure we know those in the informal sector and know how much they have paid. For once, they will have a citizen identity chip that the government can relate with.
“The discount on the cards is the wealth that will trickle down. Those collecting money illegally before will have opportunity to buy the cards and sell to make money.
“We have done enumeration in the local government. We have all the buildings and their GPS coordinates. Vehicle owners will now be getting alerts on the anniversary of their vehicle renewal. Because we have their house address, we can send notices to your house that you need to renew your vehicle so we don’t need to do stop and search because we have the data base.
“Expanding the tax net is some feature the automation will help us to do. Each tax payer has a tax profile on the system so you can ask for a single tax assessment view. People can pull out their tax profile and know what they are expected to pay and when to pay. Your tax clearance can be issued to you electronically. We will now send SMS alert to tax papers immediately they pay.”