The vision of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS), is traput in place a world-class revenue collection system that is transparent, accountable, and efficient for the territory, Acting Executive Chairman, Mr Haruna Abdullahi has indicated.
Abdullahi spoke at the ongoing Stakeholders Resolution Retreat on the Harmonisation of Revenue and Ease of Doing Business in the FCT held in Akure, Ondo state on Thursday.
He explained that the Service was working to achieve this by creating a single, unified platform and dashboard that would enable the institution to track and monitor all revenue generated in the FCT.
“Our goal is to ensure that all revenue in FCT is properly accounted for and reported, with the highest level of transparency and accuracy. This will help to build trust and confidence among the people and encourage them to support our revenue generation efforts.
“We also aim to use technology to streamline our revenue collection processes, reduce inefficiencies, and improve service delivery to the people. Ultimately, we believe that by achieving our vision, we can create a vibrant and prosperous FCT that will be the envy of the nation.
“The harmonization of revenue collection in the FCT is a complex process that requires collaboration and commitment from all stakeholders. To achieve a successful harmonization process.
‘It is important to conduct a comprehensive review of the current processes, develop a unified revenue collection platform, improve transparency and accountability, ensure stakeholder participation, develop a communication and awareness campaign, and provide training and capacity building for staff involved” he stated.
According to him, it is expedient to call on all the revenue collecting agencies in the FCT and the six Area Councils in the FCT to participate actively in this retreat, targeted at achieving a harmonized revenue collection system that is efficient, transparent, fair and promoting a business friendly atmosphere in the FCT.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Joint Tax Board, Mrs Nana-Aisha Obomeghie noted that FCT-IRS, since its inception had made its mark in the nation’s tax environment terrain, especially at the sub-national level, and continued to set new standards among its peers in its approach to ensuring enhanced, inclusive, and sustainable internal revenue generation processes in its approach to revenue administration.
According to her, it is no surprise that this retreat is taking place, and it is equally no surprise that it has chosen as its theme an issue that cuts to the heart of contemporary tax-revenue issues, not just within the FCT, but at the country level as well.
She explained that as the global tax community increasingly moves towards simplification of the tax process, it becomes imperative that existing barriers that hinder such processes were removed.
The secretary stated that these barriers manifest in a variety of ways, and one of these is the multiplicity of tax-revenue collecting actors and entities, and the duplicity of collectibles prevalent in our domestic system, which unfortunately gives rise to the incidence of double taxation, or what many popularly refer to as multiple taxation.
“It is quite unfortunate that in the 21st century, our tax-revenue collection processes are still populated with a multitude of revenue collecting agencies and bodies, and much more so the involvement of non-state actors in the business of collecting revenue on behalf of government, or for themselves.
“This is a modern day aberration and negates global best practice of domestic revenue mobilization. This unfortunate reality, aside from creating opportunity for revenue leakages, also bring about a state of policy dissonance and confusion in the system.
“The result is a situation where the taxpayer is at the receiving end, as the ease with which they carry out their businesses is diminished, to the detriment of their enterprise, and the socioeconomic growth and development of the nation.
“The eradication of these negatives is just some of the objectives of harmonization of taxes. While there may be fundamental challenges to tax harmonization at the country level, given our Federated structure, the country, at this point, must be willing to make some hard and bold tax reforms which will be to the ultimate benefit of all and sundry.
“It is heart-warming to see that w0 sub-national entities have towed this path, and it is indeed gladdening that the FCT-IRS is leading the charge in this regard” she added.