Mr. Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman
Chairman, Joint Tax Board, Mr Babatunde Fowler, said the revenue generated at the state level rose from N800.02bn to N1.6tn between 2016 and 2018, representing an increase of 46.11 per cent.
Fowler made the disclosure in his welcome address at the North-Central zone’s commencement of the new Tax Identification Number (TIN) Registration System and National Consolidated Taxpayer Database held in Ilorin.
According to him, the jump in the revenue collection by states is largely due to the economic policies of the Federal Government, which have resulted in the expansion of the national tax base from 10 million to 20 million.
This, he added, was expected to rise to 45 million at the end of the year.
Fowler, who is also Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), specifically stated that the collections by the FIRS rose from N3.30tn in 2016 to N5.32tn in 2018, the highest ever. This represents an increase of 53.81 per cent.
He also said the non-oil revenues climbed to N2.85tn, representing 54 per cent of the total revenue generation.
He explained that the new TIN registration system was born out of a common desire by stakeholders to drive the financial regeneration of the country.
This desire, he added, would be strengthened by the new system, which would lay the foundation for government at all levels to have access to the funding required to drive socio-economic growth and development exclusive of aids, grants and borrowing.
The FIRS Chairman noted that the choice of Kwara State for the North-Central region’s inauguration of the new system was strategic.
The state, he explained, had in the last four years been a leading light in ensuring sustainable internally generated revenue profile for the region.
According to Fowler, “Having achieved a 221 per cent increase in its collection from N7.1bn in 2015 at the time of attaining its autonomous status to N23bn in 2018, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service has become a benchmark for revenue authorities not just within the North-Central region but nationwide. It is worthy of note that the KWIRS is the only state revenue agency in the country to have been ISO-certified, with ISO 9001 for Quality Management System and ISO/IEC 22301 for Business Continuity Management System.”
He added that other states in the region were not left behind, noting that Niger State and Nasarawa State were among the top 15 states with an annual growth rate in excess of 20 per cent.
The new TIN registration system, Fowler explained, would improve the efficiency and output of the entire tax administration process as well as enhance convenience to the taxpayers and tax administrators.
It would also guarantee that each taxpayer’s details would be readily made available to them at all times and anywhere.
Fowler said, “A significant feature of the new system is that it possesses the capability to integrate with all relevant agencies by leveraging already captured data.
The FIRS boss asserted that with its ability to deploy analytics to discover underlying correlating trends and patterns, better visibility of the taxpayer is assured inherently leading to increased Internally Generated Revenue for all tiers of government.
However, the new system reduces the burden of taxpayer information management, while at the same time significantly reducing the cost of collection which will be beneficial to the country