Ondo State Government said it would form a collaboration with some Federal Government revenue generating agencies as part of its efforts to boost its Internally Generated Revenue.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa has earlier revealed that the state has improved on its IGR from annual N6billion of the past administration to over N36billion annually.

Speaking at the second Annual Lecture of the Elizade University Tax Club, held at the ODIRS Corporate Headquarters in Akure, on Thursday, the chairman of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Tolu Adegbie, confirmed that the government had collaborated with tax stakeholders both at the state and federal level.

In the lecture titled; ‘Bridging income inequality through taxation,’ Adegbie, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Ondo State Governor on Revenue, Mr Olufemi Feyide, described taxation as a working tool that has brought infrastructural development to the state.

He said, “The money raised either from tax or generated revenue for the past four years is internally generated, it has given the state certainty of funds, we plan and budget for them, looking around the state in the past five years you would see a change of developmental progress, you can see changes in education, roads and many infrastructural, the economic activities in the state has picked up.

” There would be a close and intact collaboration among the relevant tax authorities both at the federal and state levels (FIRS and SIRS). Also, there would also be collaborations with major revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government such as The Nigerian Customs Service, The Nigerian Immigration Service, NNPC, CAC, among others as well as financial institutions through the Central Bank of Nigeria”

Adegbie who is also the patron of the tax club, further noted that there would be enough database through the use of technology for the citizens of the state.

“Different people and personalities would have their own data with the use of technology, we have agencies we can draw information from, we have relationships with banks, judiciary, we would conglomerate all information into an engine that would enable us to profile tax payers.

“We have houses in Akure without addresses. We have been able to set up a committee to identify each of these houses. When the houses have addresses, this would turn up a database for us, we would get names, phone numbers of house owners too,” the ODIRS chairman stated

In his remarks, the Head of Legal Department of the ODIRS, Barr. Adebayo Ogunsuyi who was represented by Mrs Oladayo Omotoso pointed out that money laundering has been tackled in the organization through proper audit, investigation and probe.

According to him, the extant tax laws in Nigeria had made provisions and empowered tax authorities to probe into the occupations and even sources of income of taxpayers.

“The law has made provisions for punitive measures against any citizen who gives a false declaration of assets or returns (see sections 95 and 96 of PITA) . The institution of taxation in Nigeria has given room for the quick detection of not only tax crimes but also other financial crimes if and only if the provisions of the law are well implemented and executed through tax audit, investigation and enforcement.

“The recent tax committee set by President Tinubu is another step and a giant one in the right direction. The people in the committee are credible and they know about these businesses. It is the right time for it in line with the global reform, we are optimistic that it would boast revenue, not only in Ondo State but in Nigeria as a whole”.

“With the introduction and use of Tax Identification Number for both individual and corporate taxpayers in Nigeria, the Bank Identification Number has contributed immensely to help minimize the occurrence of tax crimes and even money laundering in Nigeria.”

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