The Executive Chairman of the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service, KADIRS, Mallam Muktar Ahmed, has revealed, that as part of its target of annually raising a N45 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Kaduna State, the government has announced its decision to impose the payment of tax on petty traders such as those selling tomatoes, frying bean cakes (akara), as well as those selling other petty goods in the state.
Mr. Ahmed made it known that those involved in petty sales will make their payment based on what he called “presumptive tax” according the size of their business and sales. As part of measures to ensure that all concerned stakeholders are carried along, Mallam Muktar Ahmed informed that they have met with over sixty trade unions and associations with respect to reaching a mutual agreement on rates that will be charged their members under the presumptive tax regime and that they have also held talks with IT companies in preparation for full automation of the service, adding that N20bn was planned to be generated from the MDAs while N25bn is targeted to be generated from the state internal service.
Mallam Muktar Ahmed, who made this disclosure while briefing newsmen in Kaduna, further pointed out that:
“It is no longer news that the dip in the nation’s oil earnings has affected allocations from the federal account, this scenario has been on for months foisting a serious crunch on federal, state and local government allocations.
“Consequently, it has become pertinent for states to take on the issue of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, seriously as it is the only way to cushion the effects of falling federal allocations and for states to be self-sustaining.”
He emphasised that having the set target in view and bearing in mind the promise of delivering dividends of democracy to the people of Kaduna State, the Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad el- Rufai, upon assumption of office began by setting up a committee headed by Mrs Ifueko Omogui Okauru , a highly qualified tax administrator and one time executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who was given the responsibility of reviewing the tax and revenue generating mechanism in the state in order to widen the tax net and also collect all possible revenues within the state. Mr. Ahmed said:
“The committee submitted its report in August 2015 and based on the recommendations of the committee and in recognition of the need for legislative empowerment of the State board of Internal Revenue, an executive bill known as the Kaduna State tax (Codification and consolidation) law, 2016 was sponsored and passed by the Kaduna State House of Assembly and assented to by the governor.
“The Law establishes the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service and seeks to consolidate all taxes payable in the state in one law and in one document”.
According Mallam Muktar Ahmed, the law “prohibit the collection of cash revenues and automate the operations, harmonise and centralise all revenue collections, Simplify payment, introduce investor friendly tax code, promote transparency and accountability, eliminate multiplicity of taxes, encourage voluntary compliance, ensure improved and professional service delivery, provide taxpayers with information on precise taxes payable”.
He further explained that under the law, they will enforce non cash collection in all revenue offices across the state and the adoption of genuine third party insurance across the state. To achieve this an arrangement has been made with inter-switch to facilitate the deployment of 100 PoS terminals in addition to the existing ones in preparation for expanding revenue collection across the state. Ahmed added, “We will set in motion the quick recovery of tax liabilities amounting to N12bn by undertaking recovery drives to selected federal government institutions where we parleyed with the management of the institutions.”
The Chairman, Mallam Muktar Ahmed went on to say that discussions are going on with banks to set up kiosks in the centres where these revenue will be collected across the state, adding that the 23 local governments and MDAs in the state have also been directed to immediately execute the new law especially on non-cash revenue collection, and plans are ongoing to create codes for revenue lines under Local Government Councils. The Executive Chairman of KADIRS went on to reveal that:
“We have in collaboration with interswitch brought the Kaduna State Water Board billing system onto the pay direct system and are working to interface their billing system with the platform.
“We have also deployed PoS’ to all government hospitals across the state, this is in order to stop cash collections of bills and to ensure proper charging and payment of bills”,