BY VICTORIA IKEANO
The Executive Chairman of the Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service (NIRS), Alhaji Ahmad Yakubu Muhammad has urged the citizenry to report illegal tax collectors to the agency or the police for necessary action, noting that they are one of the problems the organisation was contending with. Muhammad gave the admonition in an interview with this correspondent at the Board’s headquarters in Lafia. He said that the Board was working with the Police to curb issue of illegal tax collectors.
Commenting on the specific matter of highway harassment of truck and trailer drivers transporting produce for tax, the Chairman said, “It is illegal to block the federal highway by virtue of the law. Nevertheless, we have technical partners that we have engaged for haulage, for produce. But what they are supposed to do is at the point of loading or at the point of offloading. These are areas we are working at so that you pay what is due to government at the point of loading or off loading. So, if you are probably coming from another state and offloading in the state, you pay for haulage and if it is for produce they do so at the point of loading”.
He remarked that Nasarawa state was not getting all that is due to it from the neighbouring Federal Capital Territory (FCT), explaining that because about 60 percent to 70 per cent of civil servants working in the FCT live in Nasarawa state, their pay as you earn tax (P.A.Y.E.) ought to be remitted to the state. “We are not getting much of that; but we are working towards it”, he assured.
According to the NSIRS boss, the state could survive on internally generated revenue (IGR) if all its tax sources are explored, disclosing that the organisation was now focusing on the informal sector to shore up its collections.
Additionally, the State Internal Revenue Service has been able to improve its collections through automation of its system, doing away with the old manual methods, thereby curbing pilferage and leakages. Muhammad stressed that the signing into law of the Tax Harmonization and Administration Bill into law by Governor Abdullahi Sule on December 31, 2020 was a big boost in revolutionizing its activities.