Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Revenue generation by the 36 states of the federation has risen from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.6 trillion in 2018, representing a 46.11 per cent rise, according to data released yesterday by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).
FIRS Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, who also chairs the Joint Tax Board (JTB), attributed the boost in states’ revenue collection to the attendant impact of the economic policies of the federal government.
Fowler spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the North-central regional flag-off of the New Tax Identification Number (TIN) Registration System and National Consolidated Taxpayer Database, which was attended by representatives of governors of the six states that make up the geopolitical zone.
He said the development was also due to the expansion of the national tax base from 10 million to 20 million; and which is expected to rise to 45 million by December.
According to him, besides the states, the FIRS also witnessed a rise in the collection of federal revenue, which jumped from N3. 30 trillion in 2016 to N5. 32 trillion in 2018, the highest ever recorded and representing an increase of 53.81 per cent.
Fowler stated that non-oil revenue also climbed to N2. 85trillion, an equivalent of 54 per cent of total revenue generation.
He said the New TIN Registration System is underpinned by a common desire by stakeholders to drive the financial regeneration of the country.
This desire, he added, will be strengthened by the new system, which will 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.
He added that the choice of Kwara State for the North-central regional flag-off of the new tax policy was strategic.
The state, he said, has, over the last four years, been a leading light in ensuring sustainable internally generated revenue profile for itself and the region.
He said: “Having achieved a 221 per cent increase in its collection from N7.1 billion in 2015 at the time of attaining its autonomous status to N23 billion in 2018, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) has become a benchmark for revenue authorities not just within the North-central Region, but nationwide as well.
“It is worthy of note that 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 are not left behind, noting that Niger State and Nasarawa State are among the top 15 states with an annual growth rate in excess of 20 per cent.
Fowler also spoke on why the FIRS is passionate about the new tax registration system and the need for all stakeholders to embrace it and cooperate to make it successful.
“The new TIN registration system would improve the efficiency and output of the entire tax administration process and enhance convenience to the taxpayers as well as the tax administrators while guaranteeing that each taxpayer’s details are readily available to them at all times and anywhere.
“A significant feature of the new system is that it possesses the capability to integrate with all relevant agencies by leveraging on already captured data. 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 (IGR) for all tiers of government.
“Thus, the new system reduces the burden of taxpayer information management while at the same time significantly reducing the cost of collection,” he stated.