Chairman, Joint Tax Board (JTB) and executive chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, yesterday disclosed that the Nigeria’s taxpayer roll is set to hit 33 million.
Fowler disclosed this at the 142nd meeting of the JTB in Bauchi.
According to Fowler, the ongoing database consolidation of the JTB, an initiative being executed in collaboration with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), a National Taxpayer database with the data of well over 33 million individual taxpayers across the country is now a reality. He stated that having this consolidated database, which is clean and credible, opens the door to immense opportunities for the tax administrator at all levels.
“As we build on this data, we shall also be ensuring that the technological infrastructure that will facilitate the seamless exchange of data across levels of competent authorities are present. This entails significant investment in Information Technology via the provision of required infrastructure, equipment and as capacity building for personnel that will drive the processes,” he said.
The JTB Chairman expressed optimism that such investment in infrastructure will foster efficiency in taxpayer management and will align with the country being a signatory to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), which will trigger the Automatic Exchange of Information among Treaty Partners and two other initiatives of the Federal Government: the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), and the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS).
Fowler also celebrated the marked increase in revenue generation in Bauchi State, where the governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, launched payment of taxes through Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) and through its website. The new e-payment system is being powered by Interswitch. The JTB Chairman disclosed that the Internally Generated Revenue of the state has risen from about N4 billion to over N7 billion monthly.
“You may wish to note that Bauchi State is actually one of the success stories when matters of IGR are discussed, both at the regional and at the national levels. Your Excellency may wish to note a few of the impressive statistics on IGR collection of Bauchi State. Computation of IGR collection for Bauchi State for the nine-month period January to September 2018 hit N7.04 billion. This figure has already outperformed the full year 2017 IGR figure of N4.36 billion with a percentage margin of 61.2%.
“Average quarterly growth rates for Bauchi as at Q3 2018 is 10.01%, which places it among the top ten highest average quarterly growth rates nationwide for the period. At the regional level, Bauchi State is actually setting a healthy pace for the region as her 9-month collection in 2018 is just over 26% of the entire IGR collected by the Six States within the region,” Fowler said.
Governor Abubakar called state governors to ensure automation of their revenue authorities in order to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).