By Abdullahi Olesin, Ilorin
Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) has generated N9,598,504,939.90 in the first quarter of 2021.
The executive chairman of the agency, Mrs Shade Omoniyi, who disclosed this in Ilorin, the state capital on Tuesday, attributed the feat to KW-IRS’ increased adoption of technology and steady blockage of leakages within the tax administration system.
She stated that the figure was the highest ever collected by the agency without any extraordinary item at any quarter since its establishment in 2016.
Omoniyi also explained that the drop in revenue generation in 2020 was expected “because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Kwara’s uncompromising adherence to tax break and waivers for businesses during the period, and the fact of its operations being majorly manual as at last year.”
She said the hugely manual nature of its operations as of last year meant that its staff were unable to move around to collect taxes as COVID-19 hit harder.
Omoniyi said the feat was recorded without any new raise in the tax rate, even as the agency made deliberate steps to tackle multiple taxation.
“Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) since inception has operated a manual tax administration system. This means assessment and collection of relevant taxes payable to the State Government from both KW-IRS and other MDAs are on contact basis. Despite this, the Service has recorded steady IGR growth over the years. Upon its assumption of office in October 2019, the Service’s new management began working tirelessly to sustain this momentum. These efforts culminated in the IGR growth from N23billion as at 30th September to N30.7billion as at the end of the year, 2019.
“The Service did not rest on its oars as various revenue and cost-cutting initiatives were immediately implemented to shore up the State IGR while itworked assiduously to automate its revenue and tax administration processes. The various revenue leakage blockages paid off when in quarter one of 2020,the Service generated N7billion.
“However, with the spread of the Corona Virus and subsequent lockdown of the State by the government towards the end of March and up until May, the State IGR plummeted to N2billion. Given that the state’s economy was greatly affected by the lockdown and the State’s collection system was still contact-based as at this time, it was only to be expected that no serious activities would happen in the revenue space for that period. It is also known that Kwara State was one of the States who followed the COVID-19 protocols fully which is a main factor for the Q2 2020 revenue performance,” Mrs Omoniyi added.