The Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Inland Revenue Service (IRS) is working hard to rake in not less than N80bn into the territory’s account in 2019, the Executive Chairman of IRS, Abdullahi Attah has said. Attah said the plan was to increase revenue base from less than N70 billion in 2018 to N80 billion in 2019 for more developmental projects for the benefit of all.
The FCT-IRS was created in 2015 by an Act of the National Assembly to, among other, provide the ability of the territory and its six Area Councils to effectively generate revenues from their activities and utilise same for the development of the nation’s capital to a world class. Attah told Economic Confidential said there was need to begin the collection of property tax in FCT, capable of further improving its Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) base and reduce the rate of unoccupied houses spread over the city.
“We don’t have a property tax law in place yet to kick off collections but we are making efforts to bring in a consultant that will help us prepare the bill to be sent to the National Assembly for approval.
The bill, if passed into law will stipulates its modus operandi as well as accompanied sanctions. It’s really unfortunate that we have several houses in high brawl areas of Asokoro, Maitama, and Katampe as well as others that are just left unoccupied. This must stop,” he said.
On major challenges facing the agency, Attah identified accommodation, poor staffing, inadequate training and working equipment as well as poor funding as major obstacle facing the agency. “As it is today, in the last one and half years since establishment, we can only boast of three offices. So, we are just planning to employ our staff because at inception, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) gave us 150 staff that are presently helping us. We need to also develop our own software. We have to train our staff to know how to make use of our technologies.
We hope to recruit at least 200 staff. Above all, we need high budget provisions to meet these demands.” Commenting on the issue and complaints on double taxation, the FCT-IRS helmsman said there was nothing like double taxation for the people.
“FIRS collects taxes from limited liability companies registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), but if you are an individual and resident here, then it’s your responsibility to pay your yearly tax to the FCT-IRS.
The Local governments do not collect taxes from the people; they only collect fines and rates for services rendered. So, you can see that there is nothing called double taxation.”
While explain the efforts of his organisation in making sure residents are fully captured into the tax net, the Executive Chairman said that over one million Nigerians resident in the territory have already been capture into the FCT-IRS data base through their various Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), which has enabled the agency to have access to their addresses, phone numbers, e-mail accounts and other relevant details stressing that it has commenced sending text to such people to come forward to collect their tax forms without delays.
He called on residents to help the FCT-IRS succeed by paying their taxes regularly to enable government provide more socio-amenities and serve residents better in terms of democratic dividends.