The Internally generated revenue, IGR, of Anambra state has tripled under the Willie Obiano administration, rising from N8.7bn at the end 2013 to N26bn in 2019, according to the Chairman of Anambra state Internal Revenue Service AIRS, Dr David Nzekwu.
The state government had in recent times bemoaned the low level of tax compliance by people of the state.
Official figures from the State Revenue House had said only about 750 traders out of the total estimated 1.2 million traders and business owners in the state, pay tax as at end of 2019.
But at an interactive session with the media on Friday, the State IGR Boss said despite the negative trend of low tax compliance, the Obiano regime which came into office in 2014, has tripled the state Internally Generated Revenue.
state should be earning a lot more from IGR but a lot of people and businesses which ordinarily should be contributing to the IGR of the state were not captured in the tax system.
“It was worsened by irregularities in the sector which led to diminished revenue collection or diversion of IGR to individual pockets by so called revenue agents”, he explained.
“But with the advent of Gov Obiano’s administration and the digitization of the tax system, many of the irregularities were curbed and we began to capture the informal sector and the businesses therein, into the tax system”, said Dr Nzekwu
“We have equally captured more by issuing the Anambra state social service identification, ANSSID, number to ndi Anambra to enable active participation in the civic responsibility of tax paying”, he further stated.
“So far, the Anambra internal revenue service has registered about 40,000 businesses and enrolled about 300,000 people into the tax net. Revenue from this is estimated at N15bn annually.
“In addition, Anambra state launched the state revenue stamp in Nov. 2019. This has given a boost to stamp duty tax in the state and generates revenue of about N20m monthly”, Nzekwu declared.
“We have equally deployed the land information management system for proper identification and profiling of properties so we can improve on property tax. Amazingly, 64 revenue heads have already been identified in this area”, he said.
All these efforts, led to the increase of the state IGR from N8.7bn in 2013 to N17bn in 2018. The state’s IGR closed at N26bn in 2019 and the AIRS is targeting N30bn in 2020.
The effort to plug the holes in revenue collection in Anambra state continues. The AIRS under Gov Willie Obiano has digitized tax payment in Anambra state but the ghost of fake revenue collectors continues to haunt the state.
To this end, Dr Nzekwu said the AIRS is working closely with ministry of Justice to proffer lasting solutions to the menace.
He also said that the AIRS will engage in massive tax education to enlighten ndi Anambra on the need to pay tax effectively and consistently for the development of Anambra state.
“We are making good progress and the future of revenue in Anambra state is bright. But we have come a long way in doing the wrong things. So it will definitely take some time to correct the problems”, he concluded