By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
If Plateau State is determined to raise its internally generated revenue to a level that can sustain development, it must ensure an efficient tax management system with an innovative and customer-centric approach and guarantee that people, businesses and institutions, pay the right taxes and charges at the right time using the right mechanism to yield positive results.
This is because a results-oriented tax system brings about tax for development which promotes the effective mobilization of public revenue mainly to foster development.
These were the views of economists, Samuel Wakdok while delivering a keynote address at the 2021 Plateau State public-sector strategic engagement on taxation with the theme: “Latent opportunities for MDAs and Local Governments in Plateau State to Catalyze & Deliver Optimal Revenue Yield.”
According to him, “BudgIT’s IGR at State Level for 2020 puts Plateau 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 N4.23B monthly. To achieve our N5B monthly target and rake in N60B annually, we will have to grow our annual IGR collections by an additional N40.878B. Plateau State Internal Revenue Service has worked assiduously to produce the new tax template.
“After seeing how every sector is covered, it makes the target of 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 Plateau State Revenue (Consolidation) Law 2020 is why we are here today. … Our over-reliance on oil revenue or federal allocation in the face of dwindling oil revenues is a likely source of tragedy in our own case.
“While resource revenues are not taken from the people, taxes are 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 from the government and its institutions. We must ensure an efficient tax management system with an innovative and customer-centric approach. We must guarantee that our people, businesses and institutions, pay the right taxes and charges at the right time using the right mechanism to yield positive results. A result-oriented tax system brings about tax for development which promotes the effective mobilization of public revenue mainly to foster development.”
He concluded that to achieve sustainable revenue in the State, there must be attitudinal change, collective responsibility to achieve the IGR needed to make the state viable.
Earlier, the Chairman, Plateau State Internal Revenue Service, Dashe Dasogot whose office organized the event in collaboration with a marketing consulting firm, Unimark limited said the event is a movement that will eventually galvanize and crystalize the collective efforts towards a unified revenue administration structure for Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Government Councils.
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His words, “The theme for this year was carefully chosen to further amplify the resolve and renewed commitment by the present administration to tap from the huge reservoir of yet-untapped revenues in the various MDAs and Local Governments in the state. The identification, capturing, profiling, notification, timely assessment, and due collection of those revenues have over the years, been badly neglected, or they were simply not harnessed at all. We hope to not just develop a very strong partnership and synergy between and amongst all public sector stakeholders here present, but to be seen to be on the same page in this endeavor.
“This stakeholders’ engagement, therefore, marks the beginning of a new push in our collective drive to have a formidable revenue base that will serve as the launchpad for the provision of enduring basic infrastructure and social services to our people. Permit me to draw the attention of this gathering to some provisions of the Plateau State law as they apply to MDAs and Local Governments. Part 3, for instance, lays out the unified revenue administration structure for Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Local Government Councils.
“I want to challenge leaderships of MDAs and Local Governments to meticulously and carefully study, understand, and apply this section of the law. On the other hand, the law in part 5 also prescribes the offenses and penalties for persons and corporate bodies. These include fines and long prison terms for any contravention of the law. It is helpful to remember, that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”