Grant autonomy to states’ revenue boards, Fowler urges governors

Ifeanyi Onuba and Success Nwogu

The Chairman, Joint Tax Board, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has urged state governors to grant autonomy to their revenue boards to enable them to perform optimally.

Fowler, who is also the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, stated this at the opening ceremony of the 137th meeting of the JTB held in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Monday.

Fowler commended the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, for improving the state’s annual internally generated revenue from N7.1bn in 2015 to N17.2bn last year.

He said, “The good work that you are doing is evident in the performance of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service. It is good enough for others to follow. We commend the work that the KWIRS is doing and agreed among ourselves to adopt it as a model.

“Like I often tell my colleagues, we members of the JTB must not disappoint Nigerians. I would like you to call on other governors, your colleagues in other states who have not taken the bold step, to please do and give autonomy to the states’ internal revenue services. Please, help us to convey this to them as an ambassador and tell other governors.”

While calling on the members of the JTB to intensify efforts towards meeting their revenue targets, Fowler called on the various state governments to enhance funding of tax authorities so as to achieve the desired objectives.

“You may have a vision. But if you don’t have the revenue to drive that vision, it is a mere dream,” he added.

The governor said the state had floated the Kwara State Infrastructure Bond into which a percentage of the state’s IGR would be paid.

He added that the objective of the state was to ensure that contractors were no longer owed, adding that with this development, banks would no longer panic when they give loans to contractors.

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Source: Punch

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