Bayelsa Assembly summons revenue chairman over alleged tax leakage

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly (BSHA) has ordered the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Internal Revenue Board to appear before it to account for the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) over allegations of revenue leakage either by corrupt practices by tax managers.

Moving the motion, the lawmaker representing Sagbama Constituency 1, Hon Oyinke Godbless, said the invitation became necessary because of reports that the National Bureau of Statistics in its mid-term IGR report ranked Bayelsa 26th in the country, just a step above war-torn Borno State.

Hon Oyinki while reading his motion to the house explained that the report is more disturbing because the ranking is coming few years after the state recorded an increase in IGR from N70m to N16bn, adding that there is no way the state would rank so low after such feat.

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He said: “I am raising this motion for this house to look into how the state can improve her IGR in the face of ravaging COVID-19 that is plummetting crude oil price which is, in turn, reducing our allocation. Recall that this state, before the coming of COVID-19, recorded an increase in IGR from N70m to N16bn.

“From findings, P.A.Y.E tax accounts for 80 per cent of our IGR while other sectors have seen an only marginal increase. I am concerned that there have been reports of revenue leakages either from corrupt practice by contractors or tax managers by not remitting revenue collected to the state government.”

Seconding the motion, the lawmaker representing Ogbia Constituency 2, Hon Mitema Obodo, said the motion was moved at the right time, adding that if adopted by the house as a working document, it would serve the interest of the people of the state.

He said: “I am worried about the future of our state because if we don’t do anything about our IGR now we may find it very hard to pay workers salaries in no distant time. I wish to plead with this house to adopt this motion.”

Consequently, the assembly resolved to invite the Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Board to appear before it on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

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Bayelsa Assembly summons revenue chairman over alleged tax leakage

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