By Onuminya Innocent
Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Monday said there was need for individuals and corporate entities to comply with the Sokoto State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS) law 2019.
Speaking at an event at the Sultan Maccido Qur’anic Institute Sokoto, Tambuwal disclosed that the new law would take effect from May 2020, hence a need for all citizens to support it.
He said the state government had taken up the challenge to sensitise industries and all stakeholders on the new regulations and the key changes brought about by the development.
The governor further explained that the government would not be arbitrary in the implementation of the law and appealed to tax payers to comply in the over all interest of the state.
He said his administration, since 2015, had been prudent with the management of the state’s meagre resources in improving security, provision of infrastructure, quality education and social amenities.
The guest speaker at the event and former minister of National Planning Dr Shamsudeen Usman said tax reform became imperative as a result of dwindling federal allocation to the states due to fluctuations in oil price.
Usman added that there was a need to centralise revenue collection using cashless policy to minimise sharp practices in the system.
He also counseled tax collectors against multiple taxation and retrogressive taxes which put more burden on low income earners, adding that would help avert tax evasion.
In implementing the new law, the former minister advised the government to be accountable, imbibe effective service delivery and block leakages.
“As a citizen if you pay tax you will have boldness in asking questions what the money is being used for”, he said.
He warned the federal government that recession may set in again if government continues to depend on oil adding there is need to diversify the economy not just by paper but by practical economic policies.
In a vote of thanks, Sokoto Commissioner for Finance, Hon Abdussamad Dasuki, thanked the guest speaker for finding time despite his tight schedule to honour the invite to deliver a paper.
Dasuki urged the people of the state to support the administration because of its interest in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
“This government did not play politics in meeting the aspirations of the people as you can see we have given N20,000 each to 1000 people in each of the local governments across the state even after the election to empower them for self reliance.” he said.
He said a N1billion interest -free loan had also been earmarked for traders in the state.
Dasuki said the fact that the funds were disbursed after election, and not before election, to beneficiaries showed that the Tambuwal administration was not persuaded by politics but by its determination to improve the economic lives of the people and bring development to the state.
Present at the event were the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III; Deputy Governor of Sokoto, Hon. Muhammad Manir Dan’Iya; accounting officers of the state institutions and other stakeholders.