By Francis Onyeukwu
Awka – The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano on Thursday flagged off the New National Tax Identification Number (TIN) Registration System for the Southeast geopolitical zone.
The event which held at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, was organised by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and attended by tax officials from Abia, Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke who represented Gov. Obiano, said payment of tax was important for the development of the nation.
The governor said that Anambra had made appreciable progress in the collection of tax in the past five years.
Obiano noted that the progress was due to strengthening of relevant laws and introduction of reforms in tax collection.
Mr Babatunde Fowler, Chairman, Joint Tax Board (JTB), said that Nigeria had come to a point where it should realise that crude oil revenue alone could not drive its development.
Fowler who reviewed the tax payment in the country in the last four years, said the nation had recorded progress.
“Expansion of the tax base from 10 to 20 million taxpayers with potential for increase to 45 million before year end.
“Exponential growth in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection at sub-national level by 46.11 per cent from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018.
“Growth in FIRS collection by 53.81 per cent from N3.30 trillion in 2016 to N5.32 trillion in 2018, ‘’ he said.
Fowler further said that Anambra with IGR of N19.3 billion in 2018 and N8.68 billion already collected as at June 2019 was the highest in the Southeast.
He called on other states in the zone to step up tax collection, saying the new system had reduced the burden of collection and payment.
The Executive Secretary, JTB, Mr Oseni Elamah, in his address, said the New JTB National Tax Identification Number (TIN) Registration System and Consolidated Taxpayers’ Database was a web-based solution for tax payment.
Elamah said the new system was transparent as it utililised accurate collected and recorded basic identification data.
He said users could initiate TIN request from the comfort of their homes and offices, verify their tax status and print their TIN certificate. (NAN)