Government of the State of Osun has expressed optimism that it would conveniently hit N2 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the next two months.
The Acting Chairman, Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS), Mr Dayo Oyebanji, who stated this in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER on Tuesday, said, the target in the next few months would be N5 billion per month.
He said, by the time the state government hits its target of N5 billion target, it would be easier to finance its programmes and policies with IGR without any fund from the federation account.
He said the agency has put a platform in place for immediate and sustainable revenue generation in the state that would enable government meets its target. “When you put a platform in place, you will notice there is steady growth in number and value in the revenue base of the state.
“In the last few months, we have seen steady growth in number of tax payers, which ultimately will translate to significant increase in value.
“Within the next two months, we should comfortably be on N2billion. The target of the government is N5 billion per month and that is the only time the government can say, we don’t need Abuja to survive.
“When Governor Aregbesola came into office, the state was generating about N300 million monthly,
inclusive of the state PAYE, that means, effective inflow from other sources at that time was barely around N100million.
“With the system that we have put in place, like the Revenue Administration Law, the blockage of leakages, the automation of revenue collection that now makes all revenue go to the coffers of the government, the revenue first moved to N600 million and at a time when there was oil boom, it moved to N1.5 billion.
“Therefore, because of the economic situation in terms of average, we are operating between N800
million and N1 billion now. Our focus is to hit not less than N5 billion in the next few months. So, we have the structures in place that we can work on to generate more revenue to the coffer of the state.
“For us in Osun, for informal sector, the minimum tax payable is N1,000 and development levy is N500, that means you pay N1,500 per annum.
“For you to collect tax certificate, you must have paid taxes for three solid years, plus current year, which is N6,000. It is not compulsory that you pay at once, you can do staggered payment and when you complete the payment of N6,000, we will issue tax clearance certificate, but as you pay, you collect your receipts,” Oyebanji said.
The OIRS boss, who described taxation as the peak of representation in government, said when this principle is there, it reduces corruption to the barest level, saying, “that is when you will see that the growth in taxation will be a proposal to the growth in the economy.”
According to him, now that the external money from federation account was no longer coming, it is the responsibility of the people to support government to sustain its developmental programmes and policies.
He also urged institutions that have been running away from paying their dues to the government to be up and doing, saying, the state government would not derive pleasure in shutting down private investors for failure to fulfill their civic responsibilities.
On what he called misconception that pupils of public schools were being asked to pay taxes outside the ones being paid by the parents, he said no pupil was asked to pay any tax.
According to him, parents of the pupils were the ones expected to provide copies of their tax clearance certificates and give to their children to confirm that they have exercised their civic responsibilities.
“Students are not to pay or present their tax clearance certificate; it is only the tax clearance certificates of their parents that the schools would have asked for and that is what is operational in every society,” he emphasised.