The chairman of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS), Mr. Okon Okon has disclosed that many people and organisations have in recent years voluntarily come forward to pay their taxes because of the massive development recorded by Governor Udom Emmanuel in the state.
In his opening remarks during the 2002 Strategy Session of the agency in Uyo, on Friday, Mr. Okon said. “let me thank His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, for making our job easier by providing value to taxpayers’ money and showing a high level of fiscal prudence in the management of the State’s finances.
“I can safely say that the high level of efficiency in the management of the public finance of the State by His Excellency constitutes some of the reasons we have seen many taxpayers voluntarily paying their taxes.
“We thank His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel for unreserved support and encouragement to the Service which has significantly boosted our collective morale and energy to work towards meeting the IGR objectives of the State.”
He said the strategy was held to design ways of realising the N43.8bn being the IGR target for the year 2022 having made along of improvement in 2021.
“The result of the first quarters of the year showed strong resilient of our subnational economy to deliver a reasonable amount of IGR despite all the odds and unfavorable economic conditions that were prevalent in 2021. At the moment, we are collating the statewide IGR figure for the 4th quarter, of 2021. As soon as the final figure is ready, we will forward same to the appropriate authorities from where it will be made public.”
Early last year, he said year the agency had set the agenda to focus attention on implementing version 2.0 of its corporate transformation agenda code-named REVITA (Revenue and Institutional Transformation Agenda).
“That agenda saw us invest a lot of resources in the training of revenue staff, engagement of revenue stakeholders, and strengthening the Joint State Revenue Committee (JSRC) in a bid to ensure optimum collection of taxes in the State.
” We vigorously engaged businesses and persons in the informal sector with a view to growing various segments of the taxpayers’ database. We also widely engaged business leaders in the private sector including private medical practitioners and non-governmental organisations, among others.”
Okon said the AKIRS’ focus for this year would cover such areas like data/analytics, tax intelligence, automation/digital capability, capacity building, new streams, maritime/oil & gas, re-structuring to improve efficiency
“Our workforce – our greatest assets, took part in training for state-level tax administration organized by USAID with a focus on tax law and related reforms. They also took part in annual tax conferences, mandatory professional training programmes, and the Joint Tax Board training.
“We also trained Assessment Authorities and Motor Licensing Authorities on direct and road taxes assessment, respectively. In keeping with our commitment to ensuring that enough revenue is generated for the completion agenda of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, we collaborated with the Federal Road Safety Corps, Ministry of Transport and security agencies in the State to carry out enforcement of road taxes.
“During that week-long enforcement exercise, our team deployed technology in the verification of motor licenses and that effort yielded tremendous positive results.”
He said effort would be made to bring all those working in the state into the tax net of the state whether they are working in the private sector or for the federal government in line with the \tax law.