PHOTONEWS: FIRS Management Visits Governor Aregbesola

The Management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service led by its Chairman, Mr Tunde Fowler and other members on Monday paid Governor Rauf Aregbesola a courtesy call before the event of the declaration of the 140th Quarterly Meeting of the Joint Tax Board by Osun Board of Internal Revenue holding at the Aurora Conference and Events Center, Osogbo.

Photos from the visit were captured by Dolapo Julius.

Osun Govt Orders Clampdown On Tax Defaulting FG’s MDAs In The State

The State Government of Osun has given the marching orders to the relevant agencies of government to ‘use all necessary means’ including total shutdown, to collect the backlog of taxes of more than N4.7 billion owed the state by Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, especially education institutions, operating in the state.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Sola Fasure, on Wednesday after the State Executive Council meeting held at the Executive Council Chamber, Office of the Governor, State Secretariat, Osogbo.‎

The directive was given to Osun State Inland Revenue Service (OIRS) to bring the full weight of the law to bear on culpable Federal agencies operating in the state and are owing the government taxes.‎ The Council expressed dismay at the agencies’ intransigence at paying tax as and when due, saying no effort would henceforth be spared in collecting every kobo of government from those owing past and current taxes.

The decision of the Council came after deliberating on the report that Federal agencies situated in Osun, especially education institutions, for several years held back more than N4.7 billion taxes due to the state.
The Council then directed ‎all the relevant government agencies to use all necessary means, including shutting down such defaulting institutions.‎

The statement reads in part: ‘Council received the report of Federal Government agencies, especially education institutions, operating in the state owing the state government backlog of taxes running to billions of naira.

‘The established tax liability alone is N4.2 billion while current liability is N524 million, totalling N4.7 billion. This huge sum is needed by the government to meet critical obligations.

‘Council asked these institutions to pay what they are owing immediately and directed all the relevant government agencies to use all necessary means, including shutting them down, to collect what is being owed the government from them’.‎

‎The State Government also condemned in its totality the heinous activities of game hunters who set bush on fire in order to trap animal. This often leads to burning of crops and economic trees. The council warned those who engage in this acts to desist and directed law enforcement agencies to put an end to this by enforcing relevant laws.

‎According to the Council, ‎’the activities of game hunters and others that set bush on fire, thereby burning farms, crops and other valuables, have come to the attention of Council and have been roundly condemned.

‘Those engaged in this economic sabotage acts are urged to desist forthwith as law enforcement agencies have been directed to bring culprits to book’.

‎The Council also congratulated the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on the seventh anniversary of his administration which will come up on November 27, 2017. ‎

‎The Council expressed satisfaction at the giant strides the Aregbesola’s administration has made since inception and forthwith approved the programmes lined up for celebrating this unique event.

“The activities of game hunters and others that set bush on fire, thereby burning farms, crops and other valuables, have come to the attention of Council and have been roundly condemned. Those engaged in this economic sabotage acts are urged to desist forthwith. Law enforcement agencies are also directed to bring culprits to book.

“Council congratulates the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on the seventh anniversary of the administration he leads, which comes up on November 27, 2017. Council expressed satisfaction at the giant strides the administration has made in the transformation of the state and approved the programmes lined up for the celebration of this important milestone.”

OIRS Boss Scores Agency High On Transparency

By Sunday Obalodu

The Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) said it has been able to force some private organisations to comply with the existing tax laws through collaboration and engagement with taxpayers of different categories.

The chairman of the Agency, Mr Bicci Alli made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen at a forum in Osogbo, saying, part of the efforts made by the Agency was the enforcement with close monitoring of remittances.

According to him, the employment of Revenue Marshals who usually meet taxpayers to collect revenue through Point of Sales (POS) terminal monetary mechanism had help to capture tax defaulters across the state.

He hinted that there has been close monitoring of the revenue collectors to ensure that the revenues are not diverted.

Commending the staff of the Agency for their commitment to duties, he disclosed that the revenue collectors were being taking through regular trainings at local and national level to ensure that the purpose of their employment which is to increase the revenue of the state is served.

He then charged taxpayers to always request and collect receipts from the revenue marshal for any payment they made as their proof of payment.

Economic Development Levy, Tool To Boost IGR

By Babalola Wasiu

If we are to rate the level of tax compliance of the people,  especially taxable adult in the State of Osun, it is not an overstatement to say that the compliance is above average, as people are now being convinced of the significance of tax payment.

One of the most functioning tools or the determinants of government achievements is the level of government financial ability to meet the yearnings of the citizenry which all depend on how diversified government is on revenue generation. And as means to revenue generation to the coffer of the state, one of the ways is the introduction of Economic Development Levy.

Economic Development Levy is one of the levies on the approved list of taxes and levies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette, 2015.

It was promulgated under the Jonathan’s Administration through the coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

The objective behind this is to enhance the revenue generation of each state of the federation in complementary to whatever comes from the federation account for each state to have ability to cater for the needs of the people.

Ever since 2015, immediately after the promulgation of this levy, some states of the federation have been on the close touch to the people in their various territories in implementing this levy.

Here in the State of Osun, the exact opposite is the case, as its implementation did not come, until the era of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, due to the passionate nature of the Governor and his believe in doctrine of consultation, rather than confrontation; liberal democracy, rather than being nepotistic as well as having a sense of collective responsibility rather than being coercive. This ideal held it back until 2017 after a due consultation has been established among the concerned stakeholders, including market men and women associations under Chief David Iyiola, Babaloja General and Chief Alhaja Awawu Asindemade (JP), Iyaloja General of Osun respectively; head of associations of different Artisans and above all; consultation with traditional institutions across the state.

This was done in line with the directive of Governor Aregbesola to give the payment of the levy the appropriate awareness despite its legal backing before its implementation in the state.

The implementation of the Economic Development Levy in the State is nothing, but to enable the government to be financially buoyant in providing qualitative services to the citizenry which would serve as a panacea to overcome the economic recession in the state. Besides this, its implementation in Osun would not only boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), but also avail job seekers employment opportunity, especially in the area of collection.

The rates are daily and weekly charged depending on the category of businesses. The analysis on the rates for all categories of businesses are: the motorcycles, tricycles and mini buses, popularly called “Korope” are paying N50 each on daily basis, market women and men on market days N50, while taxi and intra-state buses pays N100 per day, Tippers, trailers and other heavy duty trucks are also paying a sum of N200 each daily. And to crown it all, shops’ owners, stores, stall, kiosks and market traders, artisans, hawkers, night operators (i.e. Suya spots, Asun, Sharwama joints etc) and night food vendors are charged N100 weekly.

Residents of the state, especially market men and women, artisans as well as business men and women are therefore enjoined to live up to their civic responsibility on this clarion call to salvage the divine nature of Osun economy. Hence, the compliance with the payment schedule of Economic Development levy remains sacrosanct, being the only way to sustain the government efforts at turning around the economic fortune of the state.

Banks, Hotels Activities Paralysed As OIRS Continues Enforcement

In its quest to recover all the outstanding revenues due to the state government of Osun, the State Board of Internal Revenue (OIRS) has again descended on some other privately-owned institutions, including Hotels, Restaurants, and Banks.

The affected establishments include: Osogbo Micro-finance Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Blue Petals Hotel and Suites Ede, amongst several others.

The activities of the affected establishments were paralysed last week, as the officials of OIRS stormed the defaulting offices.

According to the Special Adviser on Tax and Revenue Matters, Mr Gbenga Akano, the essence of the enforcement is to make sure that the doctrine of equity is maintained so that those who voluntarily comply to tax payment will not see themselves as being cheated.

Akano therefore, implored all and sundry especially those within the tax net to imbibe the culture of voluntary tax compliance.

Tax Default: OIRS Clamps Down On Private Schools

Again, in its bid to galvanise compliance with the states tax policy, the Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) has clamped down on some defaulting private schools in the state and shut 19 of them.
The exercise which took officials of the states internal revenue agency to both Osogbo and Ikirun zones of the state was aimed at effecting total business lockdown for educational institutions in the secondary, primary and nursery categories.
The lockdown according to the officials of OIRS were for defaulters in the following categories: defaulters who did not register their schools; defaulters who did not upgrade their secondary school section; schools which defaulted in Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax of their staff; defaulters in payment of Direct Assessment of their school proprietor/proprietress and defaulters in payment of their business premises.
Among the affected 19 schools were; Good Tidings College,Osogbo; Golf International School, Osogbo; Cypress college, Osogbo; Esteem College, Olorunsogo; Canaan Glory Secondary School, Ofatedo; Alex Duduyemi College; Chris Ade International School; Excel Nur/Pry School, Providence Secondary School Ikirun; Almedina School, Iwo; Blessing School, Iwo; Good News Nur/pry School; Oluwemimo International Nur/Pry School; Adetag School, Ikirun; Glory land Nur/Pry School; Aramonh Nur/Pry School, Iragbiji; Merciful God Model School; With God Comprehensive High Sch and Precious Nur/Pry School.
The Acting Chairman of the OIRS, Mr Bicci Alli, said the defaulters were properly served notices ahead of the mass enforcement, saying the agency would also clampdown on other defaulting organisations across the state within the five tax zones of the state in order to compel them to pay and shore up the states revenue base.

Osun Records Increased IGR in 2016, As Lagos Emerge Top Earner Again

Osun State recorded a 10% increase in its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR in 2016, a report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS has revealed. This is as Lagos continues to dominate the table with the highest IGR generated in the country.

Lagos with a population of above 20m, generated a whopping sum of 302,425,091,964.78 and earned 81,097,954,616.12 from federal allocation, FAAC.

In the NBS report published yesterday and titled ‘Internally Generated Revenue At State Level (2016)’, it was gathered that Osun recorded an improvement in its Internal revenue by 10% between 2015 and 2016. (14th State in % Growth).

Osun with a population of just above 4m, generated the sum of N8.07bn in 2015, but recorded an improved figure of N8.88bn in 2016 representing a 10% growth in a space of one year.

It was also noted that Lagos, Abia, Kano, Benue, Bauchi, Osun and Akwa Ibom emerged top 7 earners of Self-Assessment tax across the country.

An economist, Dr. Taofeek Tijani who spoke to this reporter revealed that economic activities slowed down in 2016 due to several factors, chief amongst being the recession that gripped the nation by its throats. He however noted the prospects are good for 2017.

Meanwhile, several states internal revenue service boards continues to aggressively implement tax laws in order to boost their states IGR. Recall the Osun Internal Revenue Service, OIRS yesterday shut over 82 organisations that refuse to pay their taxes to the state government.

Osun Set To Recoup N30bn Tax Debt; Appoints Bicci Alli As New Acting Chairman For OIRS

The government of the state of Osun in a bold move to increase its internally generated revenue and recoup over N30bn tax owed by several organisation, has streamlined the Osun Internal Revenue Service, OIRS, with the reformation of the organizational structure for optimum performance.
OIRS had in the past few months deployed innovative solutions in its tax collection process through the leadership of seasoned tax administrator, Mr. Oludayo Oyebamiji.
However, following the recent resignation of Mr. Oyebamiji from the service, the state government has appointed a tax consultant, Mr. Bicci Alli, as acting head of OIRS.
Alli, who holds qualifications in Business Administration, Accounting and Taxation is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. ICAN and Chartered institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN.
Mr. Alli formerly of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS; successfully managed assigned revenue generating units and directorates within the service, contributing enormously to the monumental growth in Lagos State tax payers’ base, with the service netting an average of N20bn monthly IGR for the state.
Bicci Alli (secod right from top) pictured with the then management team of LIRS
Bicci Alli (secod right from top) pictured with the then management team of LIRS
In October 2015, Mr. Bicci Alli was invited by the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to head a management team with the mandate to run OYBIR on day to day basis, and at the same time draw up and implement reform programmes for OYBIR aimed at making the Board fully autonomous.
Within a short period of 14months, Bicci Alli led management team, block revenue leakages, brought thousands in the informal sector to the tax net, stopped reversal window in revenue collecting banks and increased Oyo’s IGR by over 1000%.
Bicci Alli has presented over 50 papers on various aspects of Tax Policies, Laws and Administration at different fora, locally and internationally. He’s tasked with the assignment of  radically increasing the state IGR.

Osun Unveils New Economic Development Levy To Boost Revenues

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

As part of the state’s efforts to increase its revenues, the Government of the state of Osun on Wednesday, launched the Economic Development Levy (EDL) programme, that will make it obligatory for the business owners to pay an approved certain tariffs and rates into the government’s coffers.

Economic Development Levy, EDL, was introduced by the federal government last year, permitting all the states across the federation to increase their Internally Generated Revenue as part of the efforts to find lasting solution to the current economic meltdown.

However, at the official launch of the programme held at the government secretariat, Osogbo, the Acting Chairman of the Osun Internal Revenue Service, OIRS, Prince Dayo Oyebamiji, said EDL is a charge introduced and permitted by law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to increase revenue accruable to state governments in order to meet certain obligations.

Oyebamiji further explained that the levy became imperative following the current economic downturn which was actually caused by the appalling fall in the prices of crude oil over the years.

He noted that, the state government of Osun under the leadership of governor Rauf Aregbesola has brought unprecedented development to the state through the implementation of some praiseworthy projects.

The OIRS Acting Chairman stressed the need for the residents of the state to live up to their civic responsibility through prompt payment of taxes and other constitutional obligations as the compliance remains the only way to sustain the government efforts at turning around the economy fortune of the state.

Oyebamiji stressed that the generation of additional revenue is a key function of levy as this would enable the government to provide qualitative and quantitative services and utilities to its people which he said would serve as a panacea to overcome the recession currently experiencing in the nation’s economy.

According to him, Nigeria’s over dependence on oil revenues has encouraged tax and other levies avoidance and inhibited the development of other sectors of the Nigerian economy including an efficient and effective levy administration system.

While charging shop owners, commercial motorcyclists, commercial drivers, market men and women as well as other residents in the state on the need to comply with the economic development levy of the state government, disclosing that, the agency has recruited a well-trained branded officers who will be moving round the state with Point of Sales PoS machines to fast track quick collection of levies so as to curb multiple and unlawful levy payment,

He said the state government was so lenient to make the levy an affordable rates that base on the quantity of the business, assuring that the introduction of the PoS machines would also bring about the required transparency, accountability and credibility.

Enumerating some of the schedule of the Economic Development Levy rates, Oyebamiji, said all the motorcycles, tricycles and mini buses, popularly called “Korope” would be paying N50 each on daily basis, while taxi and intra-state buses would be paying N100 per day.

He added, “tippers, trailers and other heavy duty trucks would also be made to pay a sum of N200 each daily.

“While shops’ owners, stores, kiosks and market traders both in the urban and rural areas would be charged at the rate of N50 and N20 respectively, just as night operators such as beans cake sellers among others are expected to pay a sum of N50 daily.

Oyebamiji further explained that the artisans such as barbers, Carpenters, Bricklayers, Vulcanizers, Iron Benders, Panel Beaters, Auto Mobile Mechanics among other would be charged N50 on daily basis.

He, therefore, charged the people of the state to comply with the new levy charges, saying by so doing, they have contributed their own quota to the development of the state.

Speaking on behalf of other participants, the Head of the State Market Women popularly known as Iyaloja General, Alhaja Awawu Asidemade, appreciated the state government in its bid to take the state to the greater heights.

Asindemade who described the initiative as a welcome development, said it would help the state government to boost its internally generated revenue and thereby affords the people of the state to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.

She gleefully accepted the programme, noting that, the time has come for any responsible government to look beyond oil revenues by devising productive means of fund generations to cushion the adverse effects of the present economic quagmire.

Alhaja Asindemade, also used the occasion to commend governor Aregbesola for prioritizing the general well being of the citizens through the implementation of various developmental projects across the state.

She canvassed support and collaboration for the present administration, saying there is need for all and sundry to embrace all government’s policies to move the state forward.

While promising to champion sensitization and campaign among the market women in the state over the new policy, Asindemade said it is the high time for all to prioritize the prompt payment of taxes and other levies.

Meanwhile, the occasion had in attendance: the representatives of World Bank, Directors from the OIRS, Market men and women, artisans, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Motorcyclists, tricycle operators among others.

Pay Your Taxes, Osun APC Begs Residents

A call has gone out to citizens of the State of Osun, who are eligible, to pay their taxes as a commitment to their responsibility for social and economic development of the state.

This call was contained in a statement from the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made available to the media on Monday, 21st March, 2016, and signed by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barr Kunle Oyatomi.

In the statement, the party also called on all public-spirited men and women to contribute ideas to solving the economic crisis ravaging the country and the state, rather than indulging in ‘self-defeatist criticism’ of the Rauf Aregbesola-led APC government of the state.

According to the party, the current economic crisis was avoidable, but for massive corruption of the PDP-led Federal government that squandered the country’s resources within a period of 16 years from 1999 – 2015.

“Matters were complicated by the crash of oil price from over 120 dollars per barrel to 27 dollars‎ as at January 2016.

“This was a catastrophe that affected the state of Osun terribly, for we were perhaps the most relatively ambitious in the country to accelerate human, economic, environmental and social development within our state,” the APC claimed.

According to the party, “external forces (both local and international), which were not apparent at the time of planning and execution of the Osun Development Plan combined to put a violent halt to the exceptional progress being made”.

“This crisis is existential’, the APC declared‎, stressing that, “it is not a time for people to play the blame game, but for sensible ones amongst us to seek a solution.

“Those who do not have sensible contributions to make should stop muddying the waters with uninformed and irresponsible criticisms’, the party declared.

‘One of the ways out, at least, to keep the state afloat, is to ramp up internally generated funds through taxation, which is what the government is doing.

“It is on the strength‎ of this that we are urging all those who are eligible to pay their taxes so that the state can manage its affairs until this national economic crisis is resolved”.

Osun Registers Artisans, Shop Owners, Others To Boost IGR

Osun State government has charged all shop owners and operators in the state to register their business premises and pay their taxes regularly in order to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Shop owners, market men and women and artisans are to register with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment and everyone would be billed according to size of their premises. Defaulters, according to the Osun Acting Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Dayo Oyebanji, would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

This, he said, would in no small measure assist in waging war against the dwindling allocation from the federation account to states. He, however, disclosed that the agency has “embarked on mass campaign rally to convince residents of the state on the need to pay for their business premises and other taxes.”

Oyebanji continued: “The exercise of the revenue agency, would not amount to multiple taxation as there are laws to back every money collected from people of the state. “Aside from generating revenue into government’s purse, business registration would also enable government to have adequate planning data which would enhance development in all parts of the state”.

“The government will as well work towards improving the level of voluntary compliance of people on tax payment for immediate and sustainable growth of the revenue base of the state”.

Also, Coordinating Director in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Reverend Abimbola Osho said the move would complement developmental programmes embarked upon by the state government towards making life more comfortable for the people.

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