THE chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Dr Awodun, has said that his team has been able to generate N12.5 billion in nine months as against a total sum of N7.2 billion generated by the defunct board of internal revenue in 2015.
Speaking during a quarterly media briefing in Ilorin at the weekend, Dr Awodun described the recorded improvement in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as 114 per cent increase.
The KWIRS boss, who said that the agency was determined to collect all due revenues in the state, assured that it would also see that generated revenues were used to work for the benefit of the people, particularly in infrastructural development.
The KWIRS boss said the determination of the revenue service had encouraged its monthly contribution of N500 million into infrastructural development programme of the state government so as to encourage people to continue to pay their taxes.
As part of the corporate social responsibilities to its community, the KWIRS boss said that a sum of N24 million earmarked for contribution to community growth was magnanimously increased to N48 million by the state House of Assembly in view of possible impact of the community.
It is recalled that proceeds of the revenue collection had been used to augment payment of workers’ salary in the state, particularly when the state government experienced low federal allocation, just as the agency said that it had contributed to health, education and environmental sanitation activities in various parts of the state.
Dr Awodun also said that wrong people had been the major factor in recording low IGR in the state.
He said that leakages in revenue collection at the state government level were worse than at local government level, particularly in the issuance of citizenship form and certificate, adding that the KWIRS had to automate the process to checkmate activities of fraudulent officials.
As a matter of fact, the idea of revenue generation to shore up development in any society in the country dates back to pre-independence era.
However, abuse inherent in revenue collection, particularly among government officials had brought about low revenue being generated into government coffers.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that many government officials in the states’ internal revenue boards and parastatals had become emergency millionaires as revenue meant for government purse had found ways into their individual pockets.
Dr Awodun said that wrong people had been the major factor in low IGR in Kwara State.
He also said that he had to weed out government officials he met as revenue collectors a year ago when he assumed office at KWIRS to achieve 80 per cent increase in revenue generation being witnessed.
Dr Awodun, who said that some of the people he met on ground had perfected process of collecting money meant for government for themselves, added that his team recorded low revenue generation in the first quarter due to uncooperative attitude of the people he met on ground.
“We met revenue generation of about N500 million, but alas! It was hovering between N300 and N348 million in the first quarter of our operation. The reason we discovered was not unconnected to the uncooperative attitude of the old staff of the revenue boars. We had to fully take charge with our staff until we stabilised to over N1 billion every month”, he said.
He, however, said that collection improved when about 528 staff were recruited by the revenue service as empowered by law establishing the KWIRS, thereby removing the government officials.