The Federal Government said it had embarked on reform programmes to encourage the establishment and growth of small and medium enterprises in the Federal Capital Territory.
The government lamented that multiple agencies and departments of government had been responsible for multiple taxation, which had been causing confusion within the system.
The Minister for FCT, Muhammad Bello, stated this at the stakeholder’s resolution retreat on harmonisation of revenue collection and promotion of ease of doing business in the FCT, held in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, FCT, Mr Olusade Adesola, the minister said the reform programmes would include the implementation of a digital platform for the issuance of permits, licences, and approvals known as the FCT Business Portal.
He said, “One of the biggest challenges we face is the need to harmonise revenue collection across the FCT. As you are aware, there are currently multiple agencies and departments responsible for collecting various types of taxes and fees from businesses and individuals. This has created confusion, duplication, and inefficiency, within the system.
“The FCT IRS (Internal Revenue Service) was created to meet this challenge amongst others. However, despite its current efforts, we all must appreciate that there is a lot of room for improvement which I am sure this retreat will look into critically and recommend ways for advancement in this regard.”
Declaring the retreat open, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said revenue generation was critical and crucial to sustainable socio-economic development of any society, especially in a developing economy.
Akeredolu, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, said the Akeredolu-led administration met a politically motivated tax system and a non-functioning Board of Internal Revenue
“Today, we can boldly say that we have changed the Internally Generated Revenue of narratives of the state without introducing extra burden on our citizens,” the governor said.
The Executive Chairman, FCT-IRS, Haruna Abdullahi, said that the vision of the organisation was to establish a world-class revenue collection system in the FCT that is transparent, accountable and efficient.
“Our goal is to ensure that all revenue in FCT is properly accounted for and reported, with the highest level of transparency and accuracy. This will help to build trust and confidence among the people and encourage them to support our revenue generation efforts.
“We also aim to use technology to streamline our revenue collection processes, reduce inefficiencies, and improve service delivery to the people. Ultimately, we believe that by achieving our vision, we can create a vibrant and prosperous FCT that will be the envy of the nation,” he said