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‘Ondo generated N2.93bn in two months’

Ondo State Government has announced that it generated a total of N2.93bn internally between January and February 2014.

The state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said in Akure, the state capital, on Sunday that the performance derived from efforts of the state government to increase its revenue through other sources outside the allocations from the Federal Government.

He said the success recorded so far in the state’s revenue drive was as a result of the ingenuity and drive of the state’s Board of Internal  Revenue.

 “Recall that while signing  the 2014 budget, Governor Olusgun Mimiko did mention that the state’s Board of Internal Revenue had been re-organised to drive the expansion of the state’s revenue base and the result of this is already manifesting,” the commissioner said.

Akinmade said the report submitted by  the Acting Chairman of the internal revenue board, Mr. Kafaru Akinsehinwa, indicated that  the  agency raked in N2.93bn in the first two months of the year as revenue.

He said many steps had been taken by the board to meet the N15bn target set for it by the government for the year.

He said the target last year was set at N12bn but that only N10.1bn was realised. He added that measures had been put in place to also reduce leakages.

Akande said, “With more initiatives developed to further boost the state IGR, the state’s revenue in the next two months would be double what was realised in the first two months.

“One of the innovations developed to shore up the state’s revenue is the introduction of Point of Sales terminals across the state.

“By April, in collaboration with a bank, it will deploy 100 Point of Sales terminals across the state, which will make payment of tax as easy as going to a supermarket to make purchases, anywhere in the state.”

While lamenting that only 30 percent of people in Ondo State pay taxes, the commissioner said the Board of Internal Revenue in the state was being restructured to be able to carry out its mandate effectively and that a new department would be created for the purpose of increasing the width of the tax net.

“We have put in place some enabling laws; so that by the time we want to start enforcement we don’t have a head-on collision with the people. So, once we have the law backing up whatever we are doing, we can move fast.

“Our people have been going out, we have been talking to the people, we have been educating them, we have been enlightening them on why they have to pay tax, what they have to pay, when they have to pay and who they have to pay to,” he noted.

He further said that companies that had hitherto shortchanged the state in terms of tax payment had been warned and that commitments had been extracted from them that they would henceforth meet their tax obligations.

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