Hope Ikwe, Jos
The Plateau State Board of Internal Revenue has generated N10. 7 billion between January and July 2019.
Dashe Ariat, chairman of the board told journalist that this geometric increase came through a lot of efforts.
” We now meet the tax payers at their doorsteps, not waiting for them to come to us as it used to be. We have also recovered a backlog of revenue not remitted by tax audits and deliberately meeting taxpayers. There have been a lot of payments coming in through recovery.”
“We have had effective collaborations with Ministries like Lands and Survey in April, their IGR has increased also, we are on the move. With the matching order of the governor on June 12, when he emphasised on three pillar policy and with economic rebirth as number three, we felt we cannot sit down and wait but we will work hard to ensure that the revenue surpasses the budget that was declared. N18bn was declared for the State entirely with the Service having N12bn as a component of it. We are already on N10.7bn.”
Arlat further disclosed that in order for the target to be met, the state revenue service will be meeting with the tertiary institutions, Jos Metropolitan Development Board, ministry of agric, ministry of lands and survey and other ministries to make collaborative efforts.
“There are a lot of gaps that are there and we know that we are not yet able to tap them especially in the transport sector of the economy. There are areas there that many of the owners of commercial transports are not on our searchlight, the drivers are not there as well as penalties for offenders on the road.”
“You can see that people park in the town indiscriminately, we have met with the enforcers like the Road Safety and VIO to ensure that everywhere is orderly and by that, any defaulter would be a revenue base for us” he noted.
“I am making reference to all sorts of vehicles especially the trucks that come into Jos and go out of Jos. Luxury buses that come into Jos and go out. We discovered that they don’t have parks for us to be able to get revenue. People turn the frontage of their homes to parks, most of the luxury buses going to Lagos and the Eastern part of Nigeria, they don’t have parks that government can hold unto that yes, you have to park here and pay us revenue.”
Arlat who said the vehicle owner may be taxed N500 per day or N1000 for parking for more than a day said “We are working on creating parks for them through the Ministry of Transport to ensure that there are parks especially for the trucks which are causing menace to other road users. The drivers park, taking over one lane of the road completely, causing accidents, we have already secure places; Marahaban Ja’ama, Zaria Road, Bauchi Road, the former JIB, there is a very large parking space there. We are removing the trucks to those places, we have met with their union and they have agreed because they have already seen the need for that.”
He also said street naming and house numbering will generate revenue as he disclosed that “80% of houses in Jos are not numbered, we don’t even have street names for the streets, we are embarking on streets naming and numbering of houses to ensure that the pay the ground rent adequately. There are also some other revenue that is associated with land issues and property; this year, we are moving in collaboration with all the Ministry to ensure that we get this revenue”.