FCT-IRS Denies Rivalry with Lagos over IGR Generation

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Olawale Ajimotokan

The Acting Chairman of FCT-IRS, Haruna Abdullahi has stated that the Federal Capital Territory is not in any way contending to overtake Lagos as the leading state in the Internally Generated Funds (IGR).

Abdullahi made the clarification on Tuesday when he led a road show to promote the culture of tax-paying by both individuals and corporate organisations in the FCT.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its report late last year ranked Lagos State for having the highest IGR in the country with N267.2 billion, which represented 31 percent of the total IGR in the first half of 2021. Lagos is closely followed by FCT with N69.1 billion.

But speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Abdullahi described the assumption that the FCT is in a rivalry with Lagos over IGR as a “misconception”.

“I think I need to clear a misconception. We are not in competition with any state. I think Nigeria is Nigeria. We are collaborating with every state’s revenue generating agency. We are not competing with anyone. All revenue generating agencies are collaborating under the GTB platform, so we are not really in a competition. If we are number two, then that is good. But we are not competing to be anything on the IGR chart. We are competing to be efficient and to be the best,” he said.

He said the awareness creation embarked was one of the strategies the revenue service had adopted to hit the over N200 billion tax target and to change people’s negative attitudes towards tax-paying.

The FCT-IRS chairman also warned that the service may resort to extant laws to prosecute tax dodgers, noting it is an offence for organisations and companies to fail in filing their tax returns as and when due.

He said the deadline for filing of Annual tax return for organisations, employers and MDAs is January 31, 2022 while that of individual end on March 31, 2022.

He said the campaign will not be limited to the city centre but will be taken to all FCT Area Councils to ensure that all residents are properly sensitised.