By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS) says the state has generated over N44 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2019.
Dr Zaid Abubakar, Executive Chairman made the disclosure while presenting the agency’s scorecard for the year at a news conference on Monday in Kaduna.
Abubakar said the revenue generated surpassed the N43 billion target for the year by N1 billion.
Abubakar pointed out that this was the first time that the state met its revenue target and even surpassed it, describing the feat as “a new benchmark” for revenue collection in the state.
He attributed the achievement to the overwhelming support from Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i, the political will and free-hand accorded to the agency to do its job without interference.
Abubakar also cited the rejiging of the revenue administration system since his assumption of office five months ago as a major factor for the outstanding IGR.
According to him, the agency was reorganised to engender professionalism and adoption of innovations around Information and Communication technology to ease revenue administration and collection.
“So far, as at December 30, we have collected a total of N44,0179,536,34.72 and will collect more between now and December 31.
“This feat was made possible because we have been able to rejig the revenue administration system in the last five months and worked tirelessly to ensure that the revenue target is achieved and accounted for.
“The trust of our revenue drive is centred around voluntary compliance, enforcement and collection of revenue arrears.
“We have also been able to do a lot around staff welfare, the major assets of any revenue collection agency. If the staff are well motivated, you should be rest assured of meeting the revenue target.
“We have equally absorbed over 100 casual staff into the agency and addressed issues around promotion and proper placement of officers in the agency,” Abubakar said.
The chairman added that the agency had also deployed adequate Point of Sales (POS) to ease revenue collection in local government areas.
He said that the agency had also inaugurated Local Government Revenue Collection Committees in the 23 Local Government Areas of the state to boost revenue collection at local level.
According to the chairman, KDIRS has created a Help Desk to resolve revenue related issues within 24 hours and holds quarterly meetings with council chairmen to look at progress and challenges.
“Not only that, we have also created some Zonal Offices to cater for the needs of Area Offices and this has significantly improved revenue collection in our area offices in the last five months.
“We have also created some units, one of which is the Intelligence Unit that assisted in increasing the state’s taxpayer data base from 120,000 to 350,000 in the last five months.
“There is also the High Network Individual Unit created to ensure that wealthy individuals resident in the state are captured on the taxpayers’ net and pay their dues as at when due,” he said.
Abubakar equally said that KDIRS had in the in last five months partnered with other revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to boost revenue collection.
According to him, the partnership has paid off, adding that some of the MDAs, notably Quality Assurance Authority have surpassed its 2019 revenue target.
“Kaduna State Geographic Information System has equally increased its monthly revenue generation with about N20 million and N30 million,” he added.
He however, said that taxpayers’ ignorance of the tax processes and other related issues were major challenges in the out going year.
Abubakar said the agency had introduced quarterly taxpayer engagement in order to enlighten and educate them properly and get their feedback on how to improve tax administration in the state.