Dikachi Franklin, in Owerri
The change of guard in Imo State since May 29, 2019 which is positively affecting every sector of the economy of the state, has led to a sharp rise in its internally generated revenue (IGR) from a low N251 million in June, N432 million in July to N635 million in August.
This is even as the new government of Emeka Ihedioha has set up a mechanism which will end the hydra-headed multiple taxation system put in place by the immediate past government of Rochas Okorocha, which had led to the winding up of many businesses in Owerri.
The appreciation in IGR is consequent on a structure for financial transparency and accountability in governance promised by the governor during his electioneering campaign, as well as the Executive Order 005, known as Treasury Single account (TSA), an order to consolidate all government revenues under one single account which has been also adopted and is yielding fruit.
To ensure a progressive and sustainable internally generated revenue in the state, several steps were taken to reform the Imo State internal revenue service (IRS), and to this all cash tax payments have been abolished and the government had also mandated the use of PayDirect platform with a single source sweeping of revenue.
This has further resulted to checkmating the multiple accounts and leakages, and the IGR has grown from all time low of about N251 million in June to about N635 in August.
Addressing Imo people recently on his achievements within 100 days in office as governor, Ihedioha informed that “the state has less than 5 percent of the working population of over two million paying taxes and this is not an acceptable position. We have met an arbitrary tax collection system leading to leakages, fraud and all sorts of irregularities.
“To ensure a sustainable IGR regime, we took steps to reform the state IRS. From August 2019 all cash tax payments have been banned and the government has mandated the use of PayDirect platform with a single source sweeping of revenue”.
Governor Ihedioha told the people that the government which he heads had commissioned a Central Billing System which would drive the use of the technology in tax payer enumeration exercise and ensure that they pay the right amount of tax to the right source.
Meanwhile, Ihedioha noted that his government has a human face and as such would address all financial pains facing Imo people especially in the area of multiple taxation.
To this also, he added, “We have also listened to your issues on multiple taxation and commenced a tax harmonization exercise in a bid to eliminate multiple taxation and streamline taxes in a manner that will only focus on the most relevant taxes to be paid”.