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States grow IGR by N360b owing to tax, revenue reforms — Gov. Fayemi

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The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi has disclosed that 36 states of the federation grew their combined Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by N360 billion owing to consensus reforms focused on ending multiple taxation, professionalising and modernising of revenue services, et al.

Governor Fayemi made the disclosure at the 8th IGR Peer Learning Event and launch of the NGF public finance database in Abuja on Monday.
Fayemi stated that the database, which was launched at the occasion, would allow users to easily filter and analyse states’ fiscal data and information.

According to him, the share of IGR in total recurrent revenue of the states also rose from 31 per cent in 2019 to 35 per cent in 2021.
He said: “Consensus reforms were focused on ending multiple taxation; professionalising and modernising our revenue services; embracing a taxpayer-centric culture that eases compliance and strengthens the existing social contract.

“What we need to do better is to foster an enabling tax environment and administration that allows us to optimise our revenue potential as sub-nationals.
“Our pursuit to do things differently has benefitted from the relentless efforts of our state officials, technical assistance programmes within our Secretariat and from partners’ support,’’ he said.

Fayemi urged state governments to occasionally respond to the fast-changing tax environment if they must stay ahead of evasion and avoidance tactics.
He asked them to pay special attention to the emerging dynamics surrounding private income, including devaluation effect of rising inflation rate, structural transition in employment, business dealings and investments driven by technology evolution.

He advised governors to examine ways of expanding their tax nets and improve the tax payer database, noting that it would require ending the proliferation of tax payers’ identification numbers and databases.
Speaking further, he said: “It is pertinent that we harmonise; leveraging a unique identification number as it is the global best practice.

“For us to achieve this, information sharing between jurisdictions must be seamless, not only between the tiers of government, but also inter and intra-state,” calling on Joint Tax Board to find solution to the problem of inadequate information sharing between states to improve on transparency in tax revenues and also in the entire treasury.
“We understand the need to build greater accountability, especially showing citizens the linkage between their taxes and service delivery.

“We are working with our revenue services and with Ministries, Departments and Agencies to expand our tax-for-service initiatives in rewarding compliance, while ensuring that citizens knew where we expend their taxes annually.”

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